Ireland lowered South African colours in the opening Autumn international this evening and this is how they managed the morale boosting victory.
First half pressure
Under immense pressure for the final 15 minutes of the half Ireland bravely repelled the South Africa attacks, helped at times by poor South African execution and ill-discipline.
To restrict the second best side in the world to a single penalty was accredit to the work ethic and determination of Schmidt's side and a measure of Simon Easterby's role in the early stages of his international role. The tackle count by the end was more than double that of South Africa, who also dominated possession and territory, but as the saying goes, only the scoreboard matters at the end.
Shane Horgan in the commentary box said compared the Irish out-half to an emperor such was his control over the game.
A brilliant kick with ten minutes left in the match, just after Strauss was binned, pinned the Boks back in their own 22 and ultimately led to the penalty that stretched the lead to nine points.
The Racing Metro player didn't look like a player returning after an injury lay-off and was flawless from the tee, immaculate from hand and put in a tireless shift defensively and deservedly claimed the man-of-the-match award.
Without doubt the central figure in this side.
His first involvement in the game was being pinged for tackling in the air, but after 22 minutes he showed his X-factor. The Leinster full-back ghosted upfield, beat three defenders before off-loading.
Ireland engineered a penalty from the attack and in a game of few scoring chances, it was a key moment in the game.
When Jack McGrath conceded a penalty after 27 minutes, it looked like the Springboks would put their first points on the scoreboard. However they kicked the corner and after setting up the maul, Hougaard spilled and the chance went begging.
Only selected due to a virus to Chris Henry, the Leinster flanker put in a serious shift. Strong defensively in the closing stages of the first half in particular, the 23 year-old scored the first try of the game early in the second half, demonstrating the power and physicality that has become a trademark.
Ruddock has had a fine season provincially thus far and will be applying serious pressure for the Six Nations and World Cup if he continues in such a rich vein of form