It was heartbreak for the second match in a row for Ireland’s youngsters as they slipped to their second defeat in the 2011 Junior World Cup with South Africa proving just to strong, pulling away in the closing minutes for a flattering 42 – 26 win.
Mike Ruddock and his charges will again be wondering what might have been as Ireland failed to capitalise on their chances. While they have shown that they can live with the junior powerhouses of England and South Africa in terms of commitment, skill and effort, they are still missing that clinical composure as the line beckons with try scoring opportunities going begging in each half.
The Irish youngster’s had a least learnt a lesson from their poor start against England, taking the game to the South African’s in the opening minutes and were rewarded with a penalty from McKinney. Unfortunately the Boks hit back straight from the re-start with the impressive Venter slicing through the Irish midfield with alarming ease for the opening try. Goosen converted.
Ireland pushed hard and should have scored a try with McKeon coming close and Conway through but failing to hold on to the ball. McKinney and Goosen swapped a couple of penalties a piece before South Africa showed Ireland how to do it with Venter slicing through for his second try and shortly after Etzebeth went over after a turnover at a scrum. McKinney added his forth penalty in-between and with the score at 12 – 27 in South Africa’s favour it looked that the game might run away from Ireland.
However a fantastic piece of individual brillance from Andrew Conway saw the Leinster youngster dance clear to score just before the break and with McKinney adding the extras the teams turned round with Ireland trailing by 8 with the scoreboard reading Ireland 19 South Africa 27.
Both teams suffered from the sapping conditions in the second half as the error count rose. Ireland should have opened the scoring following a break and cross filed chip by Conway, but an out of sorts Gliroy failed to gather at his first attempt and the chance went begging. South Africa made them pay with a monster drop goal from Goosen taking the score to 19 – 30 at the end of the third quarter.
Despite this Ireland looked to have forced a change in momentum, winning midfield battles and playing the game in the Boks half. Unfortunately a lack of composure saw they lose ground through a couple of dodgy lineouts and tiny forward passes and South Africa extended their lead to 19 – 35 with a try from Mjekevu. Game over.
Ireland plugged away and good work from Marshall and Gilroy, carried on by replacement hooker Doyle sent Conway in for his second try of the night which Jackson converted but at 26 – 35 the most Ireland could hope for was a losing bonus.
That option was denied them shortly after with Botha going over in the dying seconds to close out the game for the South Africans.
Final Score: Ireland 26 South Africa 42
Match Stats. [Courtesy of the excellent IRB JWC Website]
|James Tracy||1||Stephan Kotze|
|Niall Annett (C)||2||Michael Van Vuuren|
|Tadhg Furlong||3||John Roy Jenkinson|
|Michael Kearney||4||Ruan Venter|
|Daniel Qualter||5||Eben Etzebeth|
|Jordi Murphy||6||Nizaam Carr|
|Aaron Conneely||7||Cornell Du Preez|
|Eoin McKeon||8||Arno Botha (C)|
|Kieran Marmion||9||Lohan Jacobs|
|James McKinney||10||Johan Goosen|
|Craig Gilroy||11||Wandile Mjekevu|
|JJ Hanrahan||12||Francois Venter|
|Brendan Macken||13||Bradley Moolman|
|Andrew Conway||14||Courtnall Skosan|
|Tiernan O’Halloran||15||Ulrich Beyers|
|David Doyle (R)||16||Mbongeni Mbonambi (R)|
|Conor Carey (R)||17||Nic Schonert (R)|
|Iain Henderson (R)||18||Jean Cook (R)|
|Dominic Gallagher (R)||19||Siya Kolisi (R)|
|Peter Du Toit (R)||20||Pieter Rademan (R)|
|Paddy Jackson (R)||21||Johnny Welthagen|
|Luke Marshall (R)||22||Paul Jordaan (R)|
|Player name||Type||Time||Half||Player name||Type||Time||Half|
|James McKinney||Pen||03:00||1||Francois Venter||Try||04:00||1|
|James McKinney||Miss Pen||07:00||1||Johan Goosen||Con||05:00||1|
|James McKinney||Pen||16:00||1||Johan Goosen||Pen||09:00||1|
|James McKinney||Pen||22:00||1||Johan Goosen||Pen||18:00||1|
|James McKinney||Pen||31:00||1||Francois Venter||Try||28:00||1|
|Andrew Conway||Try||41:00||1||Johan Goosen||Con||29:00||1|
|James McKinney||Con||42:00||1||Johan Goosen||Miss Pen||34:00||1|
|Andrew Conway||Try||35:00||2||Eben Etzebeth||Try||38:00||1|
|Paddy Jackson||Con||36:00||2||Johan Goosen||Con||39:00||1|
|Johan Goosen||Miss Pen||03:00||2|
|Johan Goosen||Miss Con||29:00||2|
|Arno Botha (C)||Try||43:00||2|
|Iain Henderson||Daniel Qualter||06:00||2||Mbongeni Mbonambi||Michael Van Vuuren||17:00||2|
|Luke Marshall||JJ Hanrahan||12:00||2||Pieter Rademan||Lohan Jacobs||17:00||2|
|David Doyle||Niall Annett||14:00||2||Paul Jordaan||Wandile Mjekevu||33:00||2|
|Paddy Jackson||James McKinney||17:00||2||Jean Cook||Ruan Venter||36:00||2|
|Conor Carey||Tadhg Furlong||30:00||2||Siya Kolisi||Nizaam Carr||39:00||2|
|Peter Du Toit||Kieran Marmion||30:00||2||Nic Schonert||Stephan Kotze||40:00||2|
|Dominic Gallagher||Michael Kearney||34:00||2|