Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Ireland clash was ‘good preparation’ for 2023 World Cup rematch — Bok boss

The SA team will need to take the learnings out of the Irish clash if they want to topple France in their own back yard this weekend.

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber claims that the team’s tight 19-16 loss against Ireland in their end-of-year-tour opener at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday night will have no bearing on the 2023 World Cup in France, despite the two sides being set to meet in the tournament.

The Boks and Ireland had not played each other in five years, since a 38-3 thrashing was handed out by the hosts at the same stadium in 2017, but the teams will now meet again in less than a year after being drawn in the same pool for the showpiece event.

ALSO READ: Springbok player ratings from 19-16 defeat to Ireland in Dublin

“I don’t think this result will have any significance on the Rugby World Cup. It was good preparation, and we learned a lot, but the result only makes a difference to the momentum a team can build,” explained Nienaber.

Looking ahead to the rest of the tour, the Boks have to pick themselves up immediately and prepare for another massive match against the current second ranked team in the world, France, at the Stade Velodrome in Marseille this coming Saturday.

They will be keen to get a win in that game so that they can build some momentum into their final two fixtures of the tour against Italy and England the following two weeks.

‘Take learnings’

The team will need to take the learnings out of the Irish clash and also hopefully improve their goal kicking if they want to topple next year’s World Cup hosts France in their own back yard.

“The reality is we played Ireland away, they are number one in the world, at a full Aviva and we lost by three points. We had a couple of opportunities that we didn’t use, but they did use their opportunities,” said Nienaber.

“That is the reality. We must take the learnings from it. We have one week and then we play France. Some things will take time, some things won’t.

“The difference tonight was that Ireland used all the chances they created, and we didn’t. There were some good things and other areas that were not so good, and we’ll work on that as we prepare for the Test against France.”

Read more on these topics

Ireland Rugby Team Jacques Nienaber Springboks

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits