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South Africa scrape out a series victory over impressive Irish

Summer Test Series:
South Africa 19, Ireland 13:
IRELAND can feel proud of their three performances in the summer tour in Port Elizabeth today and although they lost by six points, they went very close to snatching a late seven pointer that would have give them the series. To the man, the Irish were magnificent. Paddy Jackson again looked confident and controlled the play well from ten, Rory Best had a terrific 70 minutes and Ian Henderson linked up well with the impressive Devin Toner. Conor Murray, as usual, was solid although he lacked some of the flair of recent outings, CJ Stander was prominent while Keith Earls (pictured) sparkled at times in attack.
South Africa went into an early lead with Elton Jantjies landing an early penalty. Ireland repsponded well, showing great flair in attack and they were rewarded with a brilliant try by Luke Marshall, haring through a gap in the Boks’ defence and Jackson adding the conversion for a 7-3 lead after 16 minutes. A Jackson penalty on 20 minutes put the Irish 10-3 to the good but with the home crowd urging their side on, South Africa reduced the lead to 6-10 with 30 minutes played after Elton Jantjies landed a penalty.
A minute before the break the Irish lost a lead they failed to enjoy for the rest of the game. Out-half Jantjies judged his crossfield kick perfectly for JP Peterson and the winger waltzed in close to the corner. Jantjies added the difficult conversion and the hosts went in leading 13-10 at the break.
Nineteen minutes into the second half, the Boks increased the lead to 16-10, a mighty long distance penalty from Combrink splitting the posts. A Jantjies penalty, the result of good work by the pack, increased the lead to 19-10. Eoin Reddan marked the end of a superb rugby career when he came on with 13 minutes remaining and his steal at the breakdown gave Jackson a penalty chance from which he reduced the lead to 19-13 with ten minutes remaining.
The final stages were exciting. Ireland disrupted a South African attack and surged forward. Some fine handling and good progress from the pack got them to within five metres from the home line but when the ball was swept left and wide, Keith Earls was isolated. Had the Limerickman slipped the tackle of Faf de Klerk, it was victory for the Irish but the scrum-half somehow held his grip to force the penalty as the hooter sounded a second defeat for an Irish side that can feel very proud of their summer tour in the southern hemisphere.
Had the TMO ruled a red card was deserved bv full-back Willie le Roux in the opening ten minutes, it could have changed the result. Instead, it was a yellow card and Ireland full-back Tiernan O’Halloran did not return for the second half as a result of this collision.
SOUTH AFRICA: Willie le Roux (Cell C Sharks); Ruan Combrinck (Emirates Lions), Lionel Mapoe (Emirates Lions), Damian de Allende (DHL Stormers), JP Pietersen (Cell C Sharks); Elton Jantjies (Emirates Lions), Faf de Klerk (Emirates Lions); Tendai Mtawarira (Cell C Sharks), Adriaan Strauss (Vodacom Bulls) (capt), Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers), Eben Etzebeth (DHL Stormers), Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath), Siya Kolisi (DHL Stormers), Warren Whiteley (Emirates Lions).Replacements: Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers), Steven Kitshoff (Bordeaux-Begles), Julian Redelinghuys (Emirates Lions), Franco Mostert (Emirates Lions), Jaco Kriel (Emirates Lions), Rudy Paige (Vodacom Bulls), Morne Steyn (Stade Francais), Lwazi Mvovo (Cell C Sharks).
IRELAND: Tiernan O’Halloran (Buccaneers/Connacht); Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), Luke Marshall (Ballymena/Ulster), Stuart Olding (Belfast Harlequins/Ulster), Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster); Paddy Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster), Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster); Jack McGrath (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt), Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ballynahinch/Ulster), Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), Jordi Murphy (Lansdowne/Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster).
Replacements: Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht), Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster), Ultan Dillane (Corinthians/Connacht), Rhys Ruddock (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Old Crescent/Leinster), Ian Madigan (Blackrock College/Leinster), Matt Healy (Connacht).
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Television Match Official: Rowan Kitt (England)

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