Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer


Springboks thrilled with ‘special’ first home win after World Cup

Jesse Kriel enjoyed another strong showing in the No13 jumper, after a good performance against Wales a few weeks ago.


Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and man-of-the-match Jesse Kriel were both thrilled to clinch a fighting 27-20 win over Ireland in their first Test on home soil after their World Cup triumph in France, in the match played at a packed Loftus Versfeld on Saturday night.

The Boks were made to work incredibly hard to break a three-match losing streak over the Irish, which included losses in Dublin and France in the last two years, with the visitors giving a strong account of themselves despite the defeat.

Kolisi admitted that there is still plenty to work on for the Boks and that they would not be happy with a drawn series ahead of the second and final Test in Durban next weekend.

Very special

“This is very special. To be back at home, playing in front of our home crowd for the first time since the World Cup. We just want to say thank you to everyone that came out today. It was a tough game but I think it lived up to the (close) standards (between the teams),” said Kolisi.

“With the support that we have in South Africa (every game) is very special, and the purpose we have behind this team and what we play for is what is driving us right now.

“We know it’s (the series) not finished, there is still a lot to do. There is another game next week and a one-one (series draw) is not going to be good enough for us. So we are going to make sure that we give it everything next week.”

Kriel enjoyed another strong showing in the No13 jumper, after a good performance against Wales a few weeks ago, and after being involved all over the park, was a deserved winner of the man-of-the-match award, but chose to focus more on the teams performance than his own.

Big game

“We are obviously stoked with how everything turned out. This was a big game for us. It is our first game back at home (since the World Cup) and we wanted to come out in front of our home crowd, put in a good performance and make everyone proud and I think we did that today,” said Kriel.

“There is still a lot to work on for us. We dropped a few balls and things like that. But the effort was there and I think that’s all that is asked for by the coaching staff. To give 100% effort out there and if we do that the result usually sorts itself out.”

Irish captain Peter O’Mahoney was disappointed with the defeat but happy to have been involved in a fantastic Test match, and admitted his team would be looking to fix some things ahead of the next game.

“It was an unbelievable Test match. There were a couple of errors that put us under pressure. And South Africa’s attack, with their width was a bit of a change up. They attacked really well, but we stuck in there and fought hard to the end,” said O’Mahoney.

“Going away from here we will look at a few things, like the mistakes we made. But it was a really good Test match.”

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