Ireland defeats the Springboks in a potential All Blacks championship match.

Ireland defeats the Springboks in a potential All Blacks championship match.

At the conclusion of Ireland’s 2023 Rugby World Cup pool match against South Africa at the Stade de France, Conor Murray celebrates the triumph. Franck Fife/AFP, in the picture.

In an electrifying heavyweight World Cup match at a sweltering Stade de France, top-ranked Ireland defeated defending champions South Africa 13-8 to make a statement.

Andy Farrell’s team won thanks to a Mack Hansen try, five points from captain Johnny Sexton’s kick, and three more from Jack Crowley’s tee to maintain first place in Pool B with 14 points, four ahead of South Africa in second place, and their 16th straight test victory.

During their Rugby World Cup pool match at the Stade de France, South Africa and Ireland’s locks, RG Snyman of South Africa and Ryan Baird of Ireland, make an attempt to separate from one another. Franck Fife/AFP, in the picture.

For the Springboks, Cheslin Kolbe scored a try, but Manie Libbok could only muster a penalty after missing a conversion and another three-point attempt, and Faf de Klerk also missed a few long-range attempts, resulting in the Springboks’ first defeat at the World Cup in nine games.

Scotland and Tonga will play each other in Nice on Sunday after both teams dropped their Pool B openers.

Ireland bravely chose to keep the ball in play as much as possible rather than kicking early penalties against South Africa, who came into the match with a 7-1 split between their forwards and backs on the bench.

Huge tackles and collisions were met with oohs and aahs from the 78,542 spectators as South Africa scored first in a brutal opening with a Libbok penalty.

Hugo Keenan ghosted past a defender before being brought down a few meters short of the line, giving Ireland a chance that they wasted with three terrible lineouts.

Bomb Squad neutralized.

Ireland initially made way too many handling mistakes while trying to keep the ball in play and test their opponent’s rush defense.

Nevertheless, a sustained period of possession was rewarded when Sexton wriggled his way into the South African defense, bringing the ball close to the posts after a classic one-two with center Robbie Henshaw, and Hansen, who had been set up by James Lowe, completed the move on the right flank.

Since their semi-final matchup with Wales in 2019, it was the Springboks’ first try they had given up at a World Cup.

Early in the second half, South Africa made three adjustments to their forwards line, including bringing in a portion of their “bomb squad,” and it paid off right away as they won their scrum and Kolbe darted over to give his team the lead.

Sexton, however, gave the Irish the lead back with a routine penalty, and Libbok, after Ireland had been penalized at the scrum, missed again from 40 meters.

A huge clamor from Ireland’s fans, who were stoked by an ecstatic Hansen, broke out when Ireland won another penalty with four minutes remaining in front of the goal posts.

Crawley scored, and Ireland held off a late South Africa charge to all but guarantee a quarterfinal matchup against the pool A runners-up, who will likely be three-time champions New Zealand, while the Springboks could play hosts France.

Ireland will most likely play the All Blacks in the quarterfinals if they place second in their group.


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