The Irish – trailing 14-7 at the break of their Pool B match against South Africa in the Civitas Metropolitano Stadium – overhauled the Blitzboks with a try two minutes into injury time in a match that had spectators at the edge of their seats throughout.

Tiaan Pretorius scored first after a delightful step past two Irish defenders, before Ireland got one back when Terry Kennedy kicked ahead and won the race to the South African tryline.

Tristan Leyds scored just before the break after a smooth backline move to restore the lead and when Quewin Nortje scored from the second half restart to put the Blitzboks 21-7 ahead, they were in the pound seats.

Credit to Ireland though. First Zac Ward ran 70m after breaking three SA tackles before a Gavin Mullin brace broke South African hearts with two tries, the second of which came after a long passage of play with no time left on the clock.

On Saturday, the Blitzboks face New Zealand at 12h44 (SA time), and their final pool match, against Fiji, kicks off at 15h49. On Sunday, the two top teams from each of the pools will square off in the semi-finals. 


South Africa 21 (14) – Tries: Tiaan Pretorius, Tristan Leyds, Quewin Nortje. Conversions: Selvyn Davids, Leyds (2).

Ireland 26 (7) – Tries: Terry Kennedy, Zac Ward, Gavin Mullin (2). Conversions: Billy Dardis, Hugo Lennox (2).