South Africa 27 - 20 Ireland: Springboks' Flying Wings Kolbe and Arendse Guide Champions to First Test Triumph - Ruck

South Africa 27 – 20 Ireland: Springboks’ Flying Wings Kolbe and Arendse Guide Champions to First Test Triumph

By George Davis

The game billed as a titanic encounter, the number one team in the world playing their first
game at home against the number two team in the world, fresh off a Six Nations Championship. The two best teams in the world. Can’t get bigger than that.

‘RASSIE’ rang out to the theme tune of ‘Zombie’ in a vibrant pre-match atmosphere, the
Springboks one up before the game had even started. The home side bundled into the Irish from minute one, the ball constantly being spread from left to right and the away side didn’t hold on for long.

Rassie Erasmus, Head Coach of South Africa during the Qatar Airways Cup match between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium in London on 22 June 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Kurt Lee Arendse proved the Springboks’ world class depth at wing by producing two world
class steps to escape the onrushing defence to cross the whitewash. This series has been filled with drama in the last few months and that spilled out into the pitch, Jack Crowely ignoring the Pretoria boos and whistles to get Ireland three points from the tee.

Handre Pollard then replied with a penalty of his own before the Springbok width found space
again. James Lowe stepped up in between players and allowed an onrushing Pieter Steph Du Toit to rush through. His basketball style offload found Cheslin Kolbe who stepped brilliantly to stay in and then knock on to relieve the pressure on Andy Farrell’s side.

Andrew Porter saw gold at the ruck, thinking that he could go after De Klerk, but Luke Pearce
judged him to have gone off his feet which gave Pollard another shot at the posts. Ireland didn’t sit back though, when seemingly there was no way forward in the Springbok 22, Jack Crowley spun a wonderful pass across to find Dan Sheehan out wide.

Faf de Klerk of South Africa during the Qatar Airways Cup match between South Africa and Wales at Twickenham Stadium in London on 22 June 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

The hooker then angled back inside before a wonderful out the back pass found a looping
James Lowe. Lowe is hit hard by two Springboks and does brilliantly to keep the ball on the pitch which found Jamie Osborne who fell over the whitewash from close range. Lowe thought he had turned from provider to scorer in the second half after a ball appeared out of a midfield ruck with the winger racing half the pitch to score.

However, Ronan Kelleher was pinged for playing the ball off his feet and the Irish would stay on
eight points. Craig Casey was hit hard but fair by RG Snyman, the scrum half having to get stretchered off after the hit.

James Lowe would get a second assist though, just not for the team he would want to.
Pollard kicked to touch from a penalty and Lowe attempted to acrobatically keep the ball infield, but in doing so only found a chasing Cheslin Kolbe who ran through to score and increase the Springboks lead.

Cheslin Kolbe of South Africa during the Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and South Africa at Stade De France, Paris on 28 October 2023 (Photo: Micah Crook/PPAUK)

The Irish fought back hard though, repeated pressure on the springbok line led to a Arendse
yellow card and Connor Murray soon became the beneficiary of the extra man. A rampaging Finlay Beahlam found himself in all sorts of space in midfield before he passed inside to the veteran scrum half to score for Andy Farrell’s side.

Lowe then found himself in heaps of trouble again after a long kick off caused the winger to
backpedal, eventually having his clearance kick charged down to give South Africa a 5m scrum. The traditional scrum power then came for the home side, a monstrous effort from the
Springbok pack secured a penalty try with Kelleher going to the bin for his side’s troubles.

Ronan Kelleher of Leinster Rugby during the Leinster Rugby Captains Run ahead of Champions Cup Final match between Leinster and Toulouse at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 24 May 2024. Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK

Ireland had little time remaining to secure a grandstand finish and boy did they do just that.
Ryain Baird brilliantly gathered the restart before some nice interplay found the substitute
marauding down the sideline to put the Irish within seven. The ball would eventually be spilt after the restart and South Africa would claim a hard-fought victory, but both sides will have to up their game for next weekend.


Tries: 2 (Kurt-Lee Arendse 3’, Cheslin Kolbe 65’)

Conversions: 2 (Handre Pollard 3’, 66’)

Penalties: 2 (Handre Pollard, 17’, 28’)

Yellow Cards: 1 (Kurt-Lee Arendse 73’)

1.Ox Nche 2. Bongi Mbonambi 3. Frans Malherbe 4.Eben Etzebeth 5.Franco Mostert 6. Siya Kolisi © 7. Pieter-Stepth Du Toit, 8. Kwagg Smith, 9. Faf De Klerk 10. Handre Pollard, 11.Kurt-Lee Arendse, 12. Damian De Allende, 13.Jesse Kriel, 14.Cheslin Kolbe, 15.Willie Le Roux.

16.Malcolm Marx, 17.Gerhard Steenekamp 18.Vincent Koch 19. Salmaanm Moerat 20. RG Snyman, 21.Marco Van Staden, 22.Grant Williams, 23. Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu


Tries: 3 (Jamie Osborne 35’, Connor Murray 75’, Ryan Baird 79’)

Conversions: 1 (Jack Crowley, 75’)

Penalties: 1 (Jack Crowley 12’)

Yellow Cards: 1 (Ronan Kellher 78′)

1. Andrew Porter 2. Dan Sheehan 3. Tadhg Furlong 4. Joe McCarthy(47),5. Tadhg Beirne 6. Peter O’Mahony © 7. Josh Van Der Flier 8. Caelan Doris, 9. Craig Casey, 10. Jack Crowley, 11. James Lowe, 12. Bundee Aki, 13. Robbie Henshaw 14. Calvin Nash 15. Jamie Osborne

16. Ronan Kelleher 17. Cian Healy 18. Finlay Bealham 19. James Ryan 20. Ryan Baird 21.Connor Murrary 22. Ciaran Frawley 23.Garry Ringrose