Saturday 18 November 2017

New boys bring zest and fire to blitz Springboks at the Aviva

SCORE: Andrew Conway celebrates with Jonathan Sexton after scoring Ireland’s first try. Photo: Matt Browne
SCORE: Andrew Conway celebrates with Jonathan Sexton after scoring Ireland’s first try. Photo: Matt Browne
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

It was a night of firsts at the Aviva last night as Ireland ran riot over a ragged South Africa. They scored 21 points in the last 10 minutes to secure a record breaking 38-3 victory against the Springboks.

Connacht's Bundee Aki made an impressive Ireland debut, while there were first home starts for wingers Andrew Conway and Jacob Stockdale. Munster man Conway rounded off his performance by scoring his first try for the national side.

All three newcomers added a new zest to Ireland's attacking play.

The pacey Stockdale and Conway combined well late-on to carve the South Africans open before Rhys Ruddock went over for a try. Rob Herring, making only his second appearance, also went over in the 76th minute for his first try. Ireland's fourth and final try came in the final passage of play, with Stockdale converting in the corner as Ireland ran out 38-3 winners.

Much of the talk before kick-off surrounded the inclusion of the New Zealand-born Aki in the Irish side. But, if there were any questions surrounding his commitment and hunger to perform in an Ireland jersey, he put them to bed very early on.

The opening stages of the game were disrupted after South Africa's Coenie Oosthuizen came off worst following a big hit by the Ireland centre. The Springbok's knee jarred awkwardly under him, forcing him to be carried off the pitch after just one minute of play. A great start to the Autumn series.

Sunday Independent

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