RWC 2023

Ireland beat Boks in battle of titans

September 24, 2023 8:58 am

[Source: Rugby World Cup]

Ireland cemented their status as the number one-ranked side in world rugby as they edged an enthralling tussle with defending champions South Africa at the Stade de France.

Manie Libbok’s early penalty put South Africa ahead as Ireland’s lineout malfunctioned, losing four of their own throws, but Bundee Aki’s sensational break sparked them into life.

After camping in the Springboks’ 22, the pressure told as James Lowe released Mack Hansen to dive over, Johnny Sexton’s conversion giving the Irish a 7-3 interval lead.

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South Africa hit back on the resumption when Libbok’s long pass put Cheslin Kolbe over for a try, only for Sexton’s penalty to edge Ireland back in front, Libbok and Faf de Klerk both missing further shots at goal before Jack Crowley’s late penalty sealed a momentous victory.