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]

Ireland South Africa
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 DG 16:00 2
Wandile Mjekevu Try 28:00 2
Johan Goosen Miss Con 29:00 2
Arno Botha (C) Try 43:00 2
Johan Goosen Con 44:00 2


playerOn playerOff Time Half playerOn playerOff Time Half
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