New boys bring zest and fire to blitz Spring­boks at the Aviva

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - NEWS - Wayne O’Con­nor

IT was a night of firsts at the Aviva last night as Ire­land ran riot over a ragged South Africa. They scored 21 points in the last 10 min­utes to se­cure a record break­ing 38-3 vic­tory against the Spring­boks.

Con­nacht’s Bundee Aki made an im­pres­sive Ire­land de­but, while there were first home starts for wingers An­drew Con­way and Ja­cob Stock­dale. Munster man Con­way rounded off his performance by scor­ing his first try for the na­tional side.

All three new­com­ers added a new zest to Ire­land’s at­tack­ing play.

The pacey Stock­dale and Con­way com­bined well late-on to carve the South Africans open be­fore Rhys Rud­dock went over for a try. Rob Her­ring, mak­ing only his sec­ond

ap­pear­ance, also went over in the 76th minute for his first try. Ire­land’s fourth and fi­nal try came in the fi­nal pas­sage of play, with Stock­dale con­vert­ing in the corner as Ire­land ran out 38-3 win­ners.

Much of the talk be­fore kick-off sur­rounded the in­clu­sion of the New Zealand-born Aki in the Irish side. But, if there were any ques­tions sur­round­ing his com­mit­ment and hunger to per­form in an Ire­land jer­sey, he put them to bed very early on.

The open­ing stages of the game were dis­rupted af­ter South Africa’s Coe­nie Oosthuizen came off worst fol­low­ing a big hit by the Ire­land cen­tre. The Spring­bok’s knee jarred awk­wardly under him, forc­ing him to be car­ried off the pitch af­ter just one minute of play. A great start to the Au­tumn se­ries.

SCORE: An­drew Con­way cel­e­brates with Jonathan Sex­ton af­ter scor­ing Ire­land’s first try. Photo: Matt Browne

Photo: Eoin Noo­nan

ZEST: The team lines up be­fore the match.

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