Ireland have ripped up the Junior World Championship formbook and caused a huge shock on the opening day of the 2012 tournament beating hosts South Africa by 23-19 in a thrilling match at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch in front of an enthusiastic 11,000 strong crowd.
The Irish had a commanding 13-3 lead at the break and as hard as the Junior Springboks tried to come back, they could not overcome a sterling Irish effort.
“You’ve got to give credit to the Irish, they played better on the night and deserved this victory,” Junior Springboks coach Dawie Theron said after the match.
“We certainly tried our best, but it is hard when you make as many mistakes as we did. We conceded two charged down tries and that made it very difficult for us to come back and get the win we have worked so hard for.”
South African wing Raymond Rhule in the attempt of side stepping the Irish defence. Photo: Image SA.
Theron was still positive about the chances of his side to make the play-offs.
“We now need to go out and beat Italy well and then beat England in order to give ourselves a chance to maybe top the pool. Ironically this might prove to be a good result as we now know exactly what is needed.”
Theron was happy that his team came off the field without serious injury considering the fact that he had to replace three players shortly before the start of the tournament.
“We have worked hard and had a plan for this match, but perhaps we did not execute it well enough on the night. We wanted a territory based game, but it did not quite work out the way we hoped.”
Elsewhere at the Junior World Championships another upset was caused as Argentina overturned France 18-15 in another fiercely contested match in he final match of the day at University of Western Cape Stadium (UWC).
The tournament’s opening encounters were more predictable, as last year’s semi finalists Australia, defending champions New Zealand and 2011 runners up England all recorded comfortable victories to top Pools C, B and A respectively.
Click here for the full 1st half (SA vs. Ireland)
Click here for the full 2nd half (SA vs. Ireland) Coming soon…
Results from Day1:
Wales 44-18 Fiji (Pool A)
New Zealand 63-0 Samoa (Pool A)
England 64-5 Italy (Pool B)
South Africa 19-23 Ireland (Pool B)
Australia 67-12 Scotland (Pool C)
France 15-18 Argentina (Pool C)
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