Preview: Ireland vs Springboks

Nov 6 • General News, International, Springbok News, Springboks, World Rugby • 2596 Views • Comments Off on Preview: Ireland vs Springboks

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Photo: Anton Geyser

The Springboks take on Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday for the opening Test of the Castle Lager Outgoing Tour.

Heyneke Meyer named an unchanged starting fifteen that beat New Zealand last month. He is happy with the continuity of selection from the last test and wants to make it count against a tough Irish side.

The Irish have looked a better outfit under coach Joe Schmidt, winning 6 from 7 in 2014, only narrowly losing to England. Back in their final game of 2013 they took the All Blacks to the wire losing 22 – 24 in the dying minutes.

Ireland went on to beat France in the final of the Six Nations competition in March. The reality is however that 8 of the 23 players who won the title are on the injury list.

Questions will surely be asked of the Irish at scrum time where they will be without Cian Healy and Rory Best. The Springboks controlled this set piece well against the All Blacks and will want to continue their dominance.

Matfield will have a huge battle on his hands against highly rated Paul O’Connell come lineout time. It’s one that the 117 test veteran and his fellow chargers will want to win. This will be essential to securing clean ball for the dangerous Springbok backline.

Ireland may be tough opponents at home but the Springboks have loads of experience and look like winning the forward battle which will lay the foundation for Pollard to set the backs alight.

If the Bok pack comes to the party we should see a comfortable Springbok win.

Teams

Ireland:

Player / Caps

15. Rob Kearney 55
14. Tommy Bowe 54
13. Jared Payne 0
12. Robbie Henshaw 3
11. Simon Zebo 8
10. Jonathan Sexton 45
9. Conor Murray 28
1. Jack McGrath 10
2. Sean Cronin 35
3. Mike Ross 41
4. Devin Toner 17
5. Paul O’Connell (captain) 94
6. Peter O’Mahony 23
7. Chris Henry 16
8. Jamie Heaslip 67

Replacements:

16. Richardt Strauss 4
17. Dave Kilcoyne 10
18. Rodney Ah You 1
19. Mike McCarthy 15
20. Rhys Ruddock 3
21. Eoin Reddan 55
22. Ian Madigan 10
23. Felix Jones 6

Springboks:

Player / Caps

15. Willie le Roux 21
14. Cornal Hendricks 9
13. Jan Serfontein 16
12. Jean de Villiers (captain) 102
11. Bryan Habana 103
10. Handré Pollard 6
9. Francois Hougaard 32
8. Duane Vermeulen 25
7. Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje 3
6. Marcell Coetzee 22
5. Victor Matfield (vice-captain) 117
4. Eben Etzebeth 29
3. Jannie du Plessis 60
2. Bismarck du Plessis 66
1. Tendai Mtawarira 61

Replacements:

16. Adriaan Strauss 40
17. Trevor Nyakane 9
18. Coenie Oosthuizen 17
19. Bakkies Botha 83
20. Schalk Burger 73
21. Cobus Reinach 2
22. Pat Lambie 36
23. JP Pietersen 56

Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Raynal, Alexandre Ruiz (both France)
Television Match Official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)
Kick-off: 19h30 CAT
Venue: Aviva Stadium in Dublin

Head to Head:

Played: 21
Ireland Won: 4
South Africa Won: 16
Drawn: 1

Last 4 games:

November 11, 2006 – Tour Match – Ireland 32 South Africa 15, Lansdowne Road
November 28, 2009 – Tour Match – Ireland 15 South Africa 10, Croke Park
November 6, 2010 – Tour Match – Ireland 21 South Africa 23, Aviva Stadium
November 10, 2012 – Tour Match – Ireland 12 South Africa 16, Aviva Stadium

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