Poor decision-making and execution embarrassing as ruthless Irish expose SA
minute into the game tighthead Coenie Oosthuizen fell awkwardly after a heavy hit from Irish centre Bundee Aki and was carted off. It was the 28-year-old’s comeback match after having broken his arm in the Rugby Championship match against the Wallabies in Perth in early September.
It meant Wilco Louw was in action decidedly sooner than planned by the coaching staff and while Louw possibly should have been selected in the first place given Oosthuizen had taken no contact since that arm injury, it diminished the Boks’ planned impact off the bench in the second half.
Louw more than held his own in the set scrums but the Boks were twice penalised for scrum infringements in the first 10 minutes, with Irish tighthead Tadhg Furlong getting the edge over Bok veteran Tendai Mtawarira.
Ireland’s control of the game meant penalties were routinely conceded by the South Africans and by the end of the first quarter, Sexton had nailed nine points.
And the score advanced to 14-0 when the Boks could not deal with a precision box kick and the loose ball spurted out to right wing Andrew Conway, who sped home for a try.
The first half at least ended on a fortunate note for the South Africans after Ireland failed to convert a penalty advantage in the Bok 22 into points. They had the penalty but stout Bok defence kept the visitors from scoring a try and deprived Sexton of a fourth penalty goal.
And it got a touch better for the Boks when they scored the first points of the second half via a Jantjies penalty following a high tackle on Mtawarira.
But that was just about it for the Boks. The second half fight back could not materialise because of the ever escalating error and penalty count.
The Beast had been industrious with his ball carries but it was not a surprise when he was the first of the starting line-up to be subbed, with Steven Kitshoff introduced in the 55th minute.
Kitshoff was on the field just long enough to see a Sexton penalty sail between the uprights.
At 17-3, Coetzee’s hand was forced and Handre Pollard came on at flyhalf for Jantjies, and De Allende was pulled off for Francois Venter.
It really did not matter. It was a losing cause and the score-line grew depressingly bad for the visitors when Irish replacement Rhys Ruddock bustled over after a break down the touchline by Conway. Sexton’s conversion.
And it became a complete disaster when CJ Stander scored against the country of his birth, with the conversion putting the score into the 30s.
The rout was completed in the 80th minute when wing Jacob Stockdale scored his team’s fourth try.