South Africa travelled to take on Ireland in a clash that was billed as two of the world’s best sides going head-to-head.
In a ferociously physical battle, Ireland continued their hot streak with a tight 19 – 16 victory that they will be hoping proves they’ve turned a corner in terms of maintaining excellence heading into a World Cup.
As expected, the battle between the two sets of forwards was pivotal in the clash with the Boks slightly edging things overall without really dominating.
This was of course with the exception of their second rows in particular Eben Etzebeth who was once again a pillar of strength for the Boks.
The giant lock once again proved to be an 80-minute man as he tirelessly put himself around the park and almost singlehandedly dragged the Boks back from the brink with only a few minutes left to play.
Involved in the build-up to the Boks final try a number of times, Etzebeth showed his full array of skills as popped a silky-smooth offload to winger Kurt-Lee Arendse who went over untouched.
Cheslin Kolbe missed the conversion as he continued a trend of woeful Bok goalkicking in Handre Pollard’s absence.
Despite the loss, this clash proved there is nothing between the Pool B opponents and that on any given day the matchup is a 50/50 proposition.
— Autumn Nations Series (@autumnnations) November 5, 2022