South Africa vs Ireland: Second Test Match Preview

Second Test.

Currently, sports are ubiquitous. The Wimbledon 2024 tournament and the European Championships are now underway, while the Paris Olympics are scheduled in a few weeks.

However, rugby will not be excluded from the summer athletic extravaganza, as the home nations are preparing for an exciting inter-hemisphere series.
England has been to New Zealand to compete against the All Blacks. Wales is now engaged in a match against Australia, while Scotland will be visiting Chile and Uruguay following their journey to North America.

Despite these great fixtures, the most highly anticipated matches are occurring in South Africa, the home of the consecutive world champions, where Ireland is presently being hosted.

Building on the excitement of the first test, we now turn our attention to the second match between South Africa and Ireland. With the series finely poised, this match promises to be a nail-biter from start to finish.

South Africa vs. Ireland: First Test Review

South Africa demonstrated its superiority in rugby by triumphing over Ireland 27-20 in Pretoria on Saturday, achieving its first victory against Ireland in eight years. The Springboks, with 12 members from its victorious World Cup team, showcased a more broad and aggressive offensive approach under the guidance of its new assistant coach, Tony Brown, setting the stage for an exciting second test match.

The match was not without its controversies, with crucial TMO rulings significantly influencing the final score. A James Lowe try for Ireland was nullified, while a Cheslin Kolbe try for South Africa was validated, both decisions having a profound impact on the game. Ireland, missing key players like Hugo Keenan and Jamison Gibson-Park, introduced newcomer Jamie Osborne. Despite a late resurgence with tries from Ryan Baird and Conor Murray, they fell short and will be looking to avoid a repeat in the second test in Durban.

When is South Africa vs Ireland’s Second Test? Kick-Off & Venue

The opening test match occurred in Pretoria, resulting in a 27-20 win for the hosts. The second test moves to Durban this coming weekend:

  • South Africa v Ireland, Kings Park, Durban – Saturday, July 13 @ 04:00 P.M.

Ireland: Zero Margin for Error

Despite losing the first Test, Ireland achieved series victory in their two most recent southern hemisphere visits.
In both tests against Australia (2018) and New Zealand (2022), the visiting team initially appeared slow and without energy upon arrival. However, they came together and recovered from first-test losses over the three-game tests, finally achieving impressive victories.

Currently, in South Africa, such indulgence is unavailable.

The outcome of a challenging World Cup season will be determined in 160 minutes. Unfortunately, Ireland can only hope for a split result (1-1) at most.

Following a 27-20 defeat, primarily due to a notably lackluster performance in the first half, Andy Farrell’s team now faces a situation where they cannot afford any mistakes if they hope to salvage any positive outcome from this series against the top-ranked team in the sport.

The Ireland head coach expressed satisfaction with his team’s resilience in remaining competitive in the test match despite not performing at their highest level. He also highlighted the potential for significant growth within his team, which might serve as a source of motivation, but we cannot ignore the elephant in the room, which has a long list of injuries to contend with.

South Africa v Ireland Second Test Odds

While it wasn’t a complete whitewash from the hosts in the first test, oddsmakers believe South Africa will replicate success on Saturday’s second test. The best rugby sites in Ireland currently place Ireland as a significant underdog heading into the series finale:

80 Minutes Odds

South Africa 2/7

Draw 25/1

Ireland 13/5

Ireland’s Woeful History In South Africa

Ireland has had a competitive advantage in recent times. In their World Cup Pool B meeting at Stade de France in Paris, the Irish demonstrated a determined performance to defeat South Africa 13-8.

South Africa did, however, emerge as the tournament winners, while Ireland was eliminated in the quarter-finals by New Zealand. Furthermore, Ireland’s historic results in the Rainbow Nation don’t bode well:

  • Ireland has won three consecutive matches against the Boks, with previous wins of 38-3 and 19-16 in Dublin in 2017 and 2022, respectively.
  • Notably, Ireland has never achieved a series victory in South Africa. In a remarkable display two years ago, they achieved their inaugural series victory in New Zealand by defeating the All Blacks with a score of 2-1.
  • Indeed, Ireland has only won one of its ten meetings against the Springboks in South Africa. The victory occurred in 2016 when Joe Schmidt’s team emerged triumphant with a score of 26-20 in Cape Town. Nevertheless, South Africa rallied to secure victories in Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, ultimately winning the series.

Ireland’s Injury Concerns Heading into the Second Test

Dan Sheehan, the Ireland hooker, will not be able to participate in the upcoming second Test against South Africa in Durban due to a suspected injury in his ACL.

The player with 27 international appearances sustained the injury during the 28th minute of the first test. The injury occurred while attempting to tackle lock Eben Etzebeth, and as a result, the player may now be sidelined for six to nine months.

Regrettably, for Andy Farrell, Sheehan is only one among several individuals who suffered injuries during the Test match, and scrumhalf Craig Casey is also expected to be out for the second test on Saturday.

Centre Robbie Henshaw also had a head injury during the first half of the encounter and was substituted at half-time, along with Sheehan. Garry Ringrose replaced him.

A fullback is a position in sports, typically in football or rugby, where the player is positioned behind the forwards and is responsible for defensive and offensive tasks.

Fullback Jamie Osborne was forced to leave the pitch after 50 minutes of his début due to a groin injury. A loosehead prop, Andrew Porter, was shortly followed by Osborne, who suffered a bloody hand.

A beaten, bruised, and injury-plagued Ireland squad is now forced to make significant changes ahead of the second test. Farrell stated after the match that there are “several players that we need to evaluate within the next 24 hours,” implying that Ireland’s starting lineup will likely have a different composition when they play at Kings Park next Saturday.

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