Ireland underlined their status as the number one team in the world with a bruising 13-8 Rugby World Cup victory over defending champions South Africa in Paris on Saturday, though the Springboks will rue their inaccuracy off the kicking tee.
Ireland scored their only try in the first half through wing Mack Hansen as he found some rare space out wide and led 7-3 at the break but had to withstand a barrage of Springbok pressure in the second half amid a raucous atmosphere.
South Africa’s only try came from winger Cheslin Kolbe but they missed the conversion and three penalty chances to highlight their goal-kicking woes and perhaps hasten the return of experienced flyhalf Handre Pollard to the team.
Ireland will be odds-on to win the pool as they claimed a 16th test win in a row, while South Africa suffer defeat in a World Cup game for the first time in nine matches and will likely have to beat Tonga in their final group game on Oct. 1.
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