South Africa have had a lucky escape after Cheslin Kolbe was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Mack Hansen early in the first half.
It’s 6-6 after two Johnny Sexton penalties in a competitive opening half in Dublin, but the biggest talking part so far was undeniably Kolbe and Pieter-Steph du Toit’s tackle on the Ireland wing.
The Springbok pair were subjected to a TMO review after a what looked like a nasty tip tackle on Hansen after both players appeared to lift the Connacht star above the horizontal.
However it was Kolbe who was sent to the bin as the primary lifter. A lack of malice in the clumsy challenge ruled out any red, but the Springboks got off lightly with only one player penalised as neither send off. Mack Hansen escaped unscathed as the visitors temporarily went down to 14.
Ireland made a quick start when Johnny Sexton fired over a penalty on two minutes after Kitshoff was penalised for not rolling away from a ruck.
The Springboks quickly went down the other end and won a penalty of their own off the lineout, before piling pressure on, barging their way to the five-metre line amid a stanch Irish resistance with Tadhg Furlong eventually caught offside. Willemse levelled at 3-3.
Andy Farrell was dealt a setback on Friday after Robbie Henshaw picked up an injury which saw Stuart McCloskey handed a rare start, and the Ulster star was superb in the early stages until cruelly being forced off himself.
The were more injury woes for Ireland approaching the interval, as centurion Conor Murray was replaced by Jamison Gibson-Park and Tadhg Furlong was down receiving treatment with in the 39th minute, either side of another Sexton penalty. Kolbe kicked South Africa level on the stroke of half-time.
Ireland, the top-ranked rugby nation, welcomed world champions to the Aviva Stadium in the first match of this year’s Autumn International Series in a warm-up for next year’s World Cup.
Irish fans will be dreaming of a similar showing to the last time the Springboks came to Dublin, when Joe Schmidt’s side obliterated the visitors 38-3 in 2017.
Last night was a tough one for Farrell’s second stringers, as the Ireland A selection suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of a New Zealand XV at the RDS.
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Publish date : 2022-11-05 18:14:58