The seven went over at the back of a maul that was sprinting for the corner
Watch: Josh van der Flier try against Springboks
It was savage and it was tense. It was a Test that leaves scars and one of the biggest talking points was a rapid Ireland maul that tried to sprint towards the corner while South Africa tried to bundle everyone into touch – and at the back of it came a Josh van der Flier try.
The seven has now scored seven tries in 13, and this one came at just the right time for Ireland in this Autumn Nations Series showdown. Have a look at this number (one for the bigger blokes to appreciate for sure).
It also hit the fast-forward button on the game. It was 6-6 at half-time, and it was an absorbing, physical spectacle. However, the van der Flier score served as a bit of a starter pistol and next came a Mack Hansen score.
It was great team stuff, with the forwards keeping the ball alive, it was worked to Jamison Gibson-Park. The South Africans shot in defence and the replacement nine held onto it, went for the gap and then worked it out. The ball was worked through several hands (forwards and back) and finally the Connacht wing had a runway into the try-line.
Of course, with all of this in mind, there have also been some questions asked about whether there was a forward pass in the build-up to Hansen’s try too.
It wasn’t the only controversial moment in the game. In the first half, Hansen was lifted beyond the horizontal by Pieter-Steph du Toit and Cheslin Kolbe, landing awkwardly. Some called for red card(s), or at least two yellows, but only Kolbe went to the bin for ten minutes.
Remember we said tension? Well the Springboks did come back into the game after Hansen’s score. Franco Mostert went over as the Boks roared back. Kolbe’s conversion hit the post and went wide and on the 72 minute, Johnny Sexton sent over a penalty to make it 19-11. But then the Boks bounced back again, with Kurt-Lee Arendse going over after Eben Etzebeth drew the defence near the line and popped a pass over the top to the wing.
Ireland held on though, as the world’s number one side defeated the reigning Rugby World Cup champions.
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