Boks pass the Test

Al­lis­ter Coet­zee’s men snatch vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat af­ter it seemed as if they were fin­ished

CityPress - - Sport - ADNAAN MO­HAMED at the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium Sports@city­press.co.za

What a re­lief! Af­ter a dis­as­trous start to his cam­paign the Spring­bok coach, Al­lis­ter Coet­zee, as well as the whole of South Africa can breathe a sigh of re­lief af­ter the Spring­boks beat Ire­land in the third Test last night. The vic­tory meant that the Boks win the se­ries by two Tests to one af­ter they went down against all ex­pec­ta­tions in the first Test at Newlands in Cape Town.

Last week at El­lis Park in Jo­han­nes­burg Coet­zee’s men had to pull out all the stops in the fi­nal 20 min­utes. They man­aged to snatch vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat af­ter it seemed as if they were dead and buried late in the sec­ond half.

Even though it was a bit bet­ter than the first two Test matches, South Africa last night once again didn’t im­me­di­ately assert them­selves from the start. They still made too many need­less er­rors and gave away silly penal­ties. The Irish en­joyed a bit more of the ter­ri­tory and pos­ses­sion which they con­verted into points.

Af­ter the con­tro­versy in the first Test at Newlands when South African born Irish loose for­ward CJ Stander was sent off with a red card for a dan­ger­ous chal­lenge on Pat Lam­bie, full­back Wil­lie le Roux was in­volved in a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent.

Scrum-half Faf de Klerk put up the box kick and Le Roux made the chase. He took out his op­po­site num­ber Tier­nan O’Hal­lo­ran in the air - the Ire­land full­back land­ing nas­tily.

South Africans feared the worst. Le Roux how­ever was only given a yel­low card. He could how­ever con­sider him­self very lucky given how strict of­fi­cials have been on that sort of foul re­cently.

It was when Le Roux was off the field that Ire­land cap­i­talised on the sit­u­a­tion and scored their first try of the game af­ter a pe­riod of sus­tained pres­sure.

The Boks how­ever fin­ished strongly in the first half and started putting to­gether some re­ally good phases. Un­like in the pre­vi­ous two Tests, loose for­wards Siya Kolisi and Fran­cois Louw and War­ren White­ley man­aged to assert them­selves at the break­down. They car­ried the ball up strongly and man­aged to force a few turnovers.

A su­perb cross field kick by the cre­ative fly­half El­ton Jan­tjies just be­fore half­time found the out­stretched arms of winger JP Pi­etersen who gal­loped over for the Bok’s first try. Pi­etersen was de­servedly awarded the Man of the Match award, not only for his try, but also for his bril­liant all-round per­for­mance.

The one as­pect of their play that the Boks im­proved on from the pre­vi­ous two out­ings was their dom­i­nance at scrum time. The most ex­pe­ri­enced Bok on the field Beast Mtawarira looked par­tic­u­lary men­ac­ing at scrum time. This had the de­sired ef­fect giv­ing the Boks much needed front foot ball that they lacked in their pre­vi­ous two out­ings.

And when re­place­ment props Steven Kit­shoff and Ju­lian Redel­inghuys came on for Mtawarira and Frans Mal­herbe re­spec­tively, they made an im­me­di­ate im­pact in the en­gine room.

South Africa had just 31 per­cent of the pos­ses­sion on the night, but in the end it they did enough to se­cure the vic­tory in an in­cred­i­bly tense Test match, which was nail bit­ing to the end.

PHOTO: SHAUN ROY / GALLO IM­AGES

MOV­ING FOR­WARD Ruan Com­brinck of South Africa at­tempts to get past Matt Healy of Ire­land dur­ing the 3rd Cas­tle Lager In­com­ing Se­ries Test match be­tween South Africa and Ire­land

19 (13) SOUTH AFRICA

13 (10) IRE­LAND

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