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The Dismayed South African Media Reaction To Being Hammered By Ireland

The Dismayed South African Media Reaction To Being Hammered By Ireland
By PJ Browne Updated

By the final whistle at the Aviva, the only aspect of the game which was close between Ireland and South Africa was the colour of their jerseys.

The South African media have reacted with dismay towards what was a record scoreline for Ireland against the Springboks.

In his player ratings for the game, the highest rating given by Sport24.co.za chief writer Rob Howing was a six for openside Pieter-Steph du Toit.

He also called it the Springboks' worse ever result against Ireland.

In what amounted to easily their worst result ever against Ireland, they were thoroughly outwitted, out-skilled and outmuscled en route to a 38-3 and four-tries-to-nil setback at Aviva Stadium that gets their four-Test tour of the “north” off to the worst possible start.

Mike Greenway, writing for the Independent Online, called Ireland "ruthlessly efficient".

The strengths of the home team that were hyped all week were vividly displayed from start to finish – superior game management by their playmakers and set-piece dominance meant there was always going to be one victor.

The heavy underfoot northern hemisphere conditions indeed suited the polished kicking game of their experienced halfback pairing of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, while asking questions of Ross Cronjé and Elton Jantjies.

It had been said by all and sundry that Murray and Sexton would put the Boks under pressure with their generalship, and it came to pass. So, too, did the envisaged set scrum ascendancy of the home side.

SuperSport's Brendan Nel said that South Africa were "outplayed in every aspect of the game" by a "passionate and controlled" Irish side. He believes the defeat is equally as bruising as September's 57-0 loss to the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship.

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The loss was on par with the 57-0 defeat against the All Blacks just six weeks back and raised massive questions about the coaching team at the start of a long tour that could well become a nightmare if any of these performances are repeated in the next three weeks to come.

There is no sugar coating it. It was one of the poorest Springbok performances of all time, and one which will reverberate around the world, as the Boks will need to do some massive soul-searching this coming week as they head to Paris for a tough gig next weekend against France.

Nel also congratulated the "Irish Barbarians" on their win.

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Nel was not the only member of the South African media to question Ireland's use of players born abroad.

Objections to Ireland using project players such as CJ Stander and Bundee Aki is understandable. However, Mark Keohane's criticism of Joey Carbery lining out for Ireland is less so.

Though Carbery was born in New Zealand, he has an Irish mother and moved to Ireland when he was 11. The South African player to whom he refers is Rob Herring. The Ulster hooker qualifies to play for Ireland through an Irish grandparent.

Some former South African internationals have also reacted with concern towards the result.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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