Ireland defeats South Africa 15-10 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ireland defeats South Africa 15-10

29/11/2009 02:58:29 PM Comments (0)

Jonathan Sexton kicked all Ireland's points to give his team a 15-10 win over world champions South Africa on Saturday.

The 24-year-old flyhalf landed five of his seven kicks to justify his selection ahead of record scorer Ronan O'Gara and give his side a third straight win over the Springboks.

South Africa did score the only try of the match through Schalk Burger but were lucky to keep 15 men on the field for the whole game as their discipline crumbled under pressure.

Ireland have now completed their November internationals unbeaten. They drew 20-20 with Australia and defeated Fiji 41-6.

South Africa head home with only a win over Italy to show from four Tests.

Ireland dominated South Africa in the second half to overturn a 10-6 halftime deficit, taking two thirds of possession and three quarters of the territory to force the World Cup holders into elementary errors.

Although the Irish struggled to get the try their pressure merited, Sexton succeeded with enough of his penalties for a win that was clinched when captain Brian O'Driscoll halted a late South Africa attack with a crunching tackle.

Morne Steyn had a poor match for South Africa, missing several kicks and struggling with his distribution.

His high tackle gave away the 48th-minute penalty that allowed Sexton to kick Ireland to within a point of South Africa and then kicked straight into touch to concede a lineout that put his side under more pressure.

Lock Andries Bekker was lucky to stay on the field when he dropped his knee and forearm on a grounded opponent and Sexton struck the resulting penalty to put Ireland 12-10 in front.

South Africa's other second-rower, Victor Matfield, was then called for not releasing on the ground after a turnover and Sexton kicked Ireland into a crucial five-point lead.

Springbok winger JP Pietersen halted an Irish attack with a high tackle that left Tommy Bowe with a bloody mouth and was fortunate that the referee did not spot it and hand him a yellow card.

Ireland had led early on through Sexton's first penalty but Burger put the visitors ahead at the end of the first quarter.

South Africa opted against taking a kick at goal to instead pressure the Ireland defence and Burger shifted his weight to step between two tacklers and create space to charge over the line.

The Croke Park crowd jeered the flanker as he celebrated by kicking the ball into the stand and Steyn made it 7-3 with the conversion.

The flyhalf landed a drop goal, but Sexton responded with another penalty to keep the gap to four points at halftime.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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