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Ireland make the Boks fold
A shock at the top. Harsh, hard and intense. A showdown won by Ireland (13-8) which is guaranteed to finish first in its pool and therefore to find New Zealand in an explosive quarter-final. Despite some misfires at the beginning of the match, the XV of the Clover has stepped up in this meeting and has been able to compete physically with the big South African arms, who surprisingly tried to send play. As if they refused the frontal fight. With this powerful victory, Ireland is guaranteed to retain its place as the first nation in the world rankings. She has just struck a big blow and asserts herself a little more as one of the favorites for the world title, she who has never gone beyond the quarter-finals. The Irish can believe against the All Blacks: they remain on five wins in their last eight confrontations. Opposite, the Springboks will stand in the way of the XV of France in quarters. For an explosive shock. And downright muscular.
Green tide over Paris
It was a green tide! The Irish almost played at home. Ireland's Call reasoned like at the Aviva Stadium! At the end of the match, almost the entire stadium remained for long minutes communing with the winners. We announced 30,000 Irish fans, they were surely much more as the Stade de France was green with happiness at the final whistle. At least 50,000! Even before kick-off, Jonathan Sexton's fans thrilled the Stade de France with incredible fervor. Convinced of their strength, the Irish (like their team perhaps...) already see themselves back here on October 28 to lift the trophy at the Stade de France...
Damian Willemse, la gazelle des Springboks
Behind a South African attacking line lacking inspiration, the full-back has multiplied audacity and judicious revivals. The Stormers player has been one of the most active Boks, constantly bringing danger and uncertainty to the Irish defence. Certainly the best offensive weapon of the outgoing world champions and the only one to worry the hermetic Irish curtain. His attempts deserved better.
Springboks against nature
They were expected in front with an XXL bench, yet that's where they sinned. The Boks never seemed able to endanger the Irish defence in the close game, as they seemed dominated in the ground game. Excellent with 7 turnovers won, the Irish scratchers even forced the South Africans to play against nature, by spreading the ball far too quickly. The few balls played in contact were often lost, scratched or punished with a foul on the ground. While the scrum dominated the subject, the South Africans were punished at two crucial moments, allowing the Irish to go back in front and widen the gap in the 76th minute.
The Irish scrum-half disappointed. Countered by Etzebeth on a kick behind his scrum, not very creative in his offensive animation, the Leinster number 9 let all the weight of the strategy of the men in the green jersey on the shoulders of his opening partner Johnny Sexton. A match inside Jamison Gibson-Park, yet one of the strong men of the XV of the Clover. He gave way in the 66th minute to veteran Conor Murray, when Ireland definitively tipped the match.
The Irish touch has rocked from the outset
The XV of the Clover had a very complicated start to the match in conquest. Especially in touch, where the players of Paul O'Connell, the manager of this sector, lost four balls on their own throws. More than worrying when you know their level of requirement and perfection. Twice, the Irish chose the penalty in the South African 22 meters. And they lost the ball twice. Two big opportunities wasted. Two balloons harvested. Unusual for such a well-oiled machine. Overconfidence? It could have been costly in the end, but Jonathan Sexton's teammates were able to straighten the bar as the game progressed. Regaining their cold efficiency. A simple delay in ignition that was not detrimental.
The best photos of South Africa - Ireland
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