Rugby

One Robbie Henshaw Moment Summed Up Ireland's Desire To Crush South Africa

One Robbie Henshaw Moment Summed Up Ireland's Desire To Crush South Africa

After such a terrific performance, and a record-breaking result, it was difficult for Donal Lenihan in the RTÉ commentary booth to pick a man of the match against South Africa on Saturday.

Eventually, the former Ireland international settled on Johny Sexton for the manner in which he conducted the orchestra, but had Sexton not been at his best yesterday you get the feeling that Joe Schmidt's men would have still won convincingly due to the outstanding individual performances we saw all over he pitch.

Debutant Bundee Aki has been rightly praised for his presence in the middle, and Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Conway grabbed headlines with their stellar performances, but Robbie Henshaw was once again close to flawless with the shift he put in at outside centre.

The tries were great, Cian Healy using the force to floor Dillyn Leyds had us in stitches, and there were many big hits to admire in the aftermath, but having watch the game back I noticed one moment that summed up the Irish desire to not only win, but not give their opponents a single moment of restbite.

That moment came from Robbie Henshaw, who after reacting quickly to cover a rare handling error from Rob Kearney, boomed a tactical kick into the corner before following it up, walking down the attacker, and forcing a kick to touch that moved Ireland a good 40 meters up the pitch.

The crowd's roar says it all.

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The initial kick was excellent, taking us from a moment of potential danger to the safety of South African territory, but the chase down was something else, and although Andries Coetzee had to beat one man in open space his body language suggested he had three defenders swarming him.

Take a look at where Henshaw puts boot to ball:

robbie henshaw

A full 15 metres inside the Irish half.

And once South Africa cleared the ball, the Ireland had a lineout just outside the opposition 22:

robbie henshaw

Henshaw is a joy to watch.

That moment was one on a night full of similar moments that has to go down as one of our most complete performances against a big rugby nation, regardless of how much weaker that South African side was to ones we have seen in recent years.

Hopefully it is followed by wins over Fiji and Argentina and we can carry that momentum into the Six Nations next year.

SEE ALSO: The Dismayed South African Media Reaction To Being Hammered By Ireland

Mikey Traynor

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