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Kiwi Born Irish Coach Joe Schmidt Not Rushing Job Decision

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Ireland then won a scrum penalty from the first scrum – Furlong showing Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira no deference whatsoever – from which Sexton booted the hosts into an early lead.

Sexton soon had two further penalties to his name as Ireland took complete control of the game, the Springboks powerless to generate any momentum.

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Johnny Sexton kicked the Springboks into touch in Dublin on Saturday evening Credit: REUTERS

Ireland almost had their first try with a smooth backs move straight off the training field, which saw Sexton loop around the back of Robbie Henshaw before putting Conway into open space, who was halted on the Springboks' 22m.

The Munster wing did not have to wait long, though. Murray hoisted a perfect up-and-under from near the 10m line a few minutes later, South Africa’s defenders bungled the catch and Conway plucked the loose ball out of despairing Bok clutches and sprinted home from 25m.

South Africa had 50 per cent possession in the first half but even when they did apply a little pressure, Ireland were able to repel them with relative ease. When Sexton conceded a penalty on the 10m line for a late, no-arms tackle midway through the first half, the Boks opted to kick for the corner rather than goal.

In hindsight, they should have taken the points. Ireland held them out, Furlong managing two tackles in the space of a five seconds at one stage and CJ Stander producing an immense turn-over on the line which won him back-slaps all round. And that was basically that.

South Africa finally got some points on the board a couple of minutes into the second half, but they never  really looked like coming back into it.

Ireland saved the best for last, three late tries putting their opponents to the sword. First Rhys Ruddock muscled his way over after Conway’s powerful run down the right flank. Then Rob Herring drove over from a 5m lineout. And finally Stockdale got the try that his muscular performance deserved.

Joey Carbery, on for Sexton, even knocked over the conversion from way out on the touchline.

“The scoreline flattered us a little bit,” said Schmidt. “I grew up watching the Springboks be a pretty dominant team, and I don’t think this Bok team is too far away from that.” It sounded horribly like sympathy from the Kiwi.

Match details

Scoring: 3-0 Sexton pen; 6-0 Sexton pen; 9-0 Sexton pen; 14-0 Conway try; 14-3 Jantjies pen; 17-3 Sexton pen; 22-3 Ruddock try; 24-3 Sexton con; 29-3 Herring try; 31-3 Carbery con; 36-3 Stockdale try; 38-3 Carbery con.

Ireland: R Kearney (D Sweetnam 74); A Conway, R Henshaw, B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton (J Carbery 74), C Murray (K Marmion 70); C Healy (D Kilcoyne 66), R Best (R Herring 66), T Furlong (J Ryan 70-); I Henderson (J Ryan 70), D Toner; P O’Mahony (R Ruddock 50), S O’Brien, CJ Stander.

South Africa: A Coetzee; D Leyds, J Kriel, D de Allende (F Venter 56), C Skosan; E Jantjies (H Pollard 56), R Cronje (R Paige 72); T Mtawarira (S Kitshoff 54), M Marx (B Mbonambi 68), C Oosthuizen (W Louw 2); E Etzebeth (capt), L de Jager (F Mostert 66); S Kolisi (U Cassiem 68), P-S du Toit, F Louw.

Referee: B O’Keeffe (New Zealand).

7:26PM

Francois Louw's reaction

"It's up there with some of the worst defeats. They took massive advantage and you don't want to be chasing a game like that. They kept us under the pump."

"These conditions are a little slippery. At times we handled it right but we were turned over a lot just as we were getting into our attacks."

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Credit: SKY SPORTS

7:25PM

Sean O'Brien speaks

"That was a tough game, really physical. We worked pretty hard to keep the ball, that was part of our plan. We got a few scraps and a few breaks that went out way."

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Credit: SKY SPORTS

7:24PM

FULL-TIME: Ireland 38-3 South Africa

Carbery lashes the conversion over from out wide and South Africa have been well and truly pummeled in Dublin.

Ireland so dominant at the scrum, and the breakdown, and out wide with their new wingers in Stockdale and Conway.

A dark night for South African rugby, and there have been a few of those recently that's for sure.

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Credit: REUTERS

7:22PM

TRY STOCKDALE! Ireland 36-3 South Africa 

Man of the match deservedly goes to Sexton, who has controlled this with a firm hand. Ireland are not done even with time up, a cross kick bouncing well for Sweetnam to set up a last attack on the right.

Now they come left, Stockdale in space and he finishes in the corner! Well-earned score that's for sure after a blistering effort by the Ulster wing.

7:19PM

TRY HERRING! CONVERSION CARBERY! Ireland 31-3 South Africa

Now it's a rout. Ireland's pack lands the knockout punch with Rob Herring grabbing a first Test try. Carbery converts.

7:16PM

76 mins - Ireland 24-3 South Africa 

South Africa's scrum splintered and chewed up once again, that's Ireland's fourth scrum penalty. They go to the corner...

7:15PM

75 mins - Ireland 24-3 South Africa 

Du Toit off for blood treatment as Sweetnam comes on for his Test debut. Carbery now also on for Sexton for the final five minutes.

7:13PM

CONVERSION SEXTON! Ireland 24-3 South Africa

Touchline conversion sails through from Sexton, adding more misery. It will come as no surprise that Ireland have secured another breakdown penalty, this time on Mbonambi.

Stockdale has been very very impressive tonight. Belongs at this level. JS bossing it all night.

— Ian madigan (@Ian_madigan) 11 November 2017

7:11PM

TRY RUDDOCK! Ireland 22-3 South Africa

Thundering break from Stockdale! The sensation is bursting away before finding Conway, who gets Ireland five metres short. 

Ireland recycle and Ruddock slips a tackle from Mostert before driving his way over! Excellent from Ireland.

7:09PM

70 mins - Ireland 17-3 South Africa 

A trip to France up next for South Africa by the way, and the alarm bells are already ringing.

Ireland haven't played together at full strength since March, yet cohesive. Boks look like they met on Grafton Street earlier. #IREvRSA

— Craig Ray (@craigray11) 11 November 2017

7:06PM

68 mins - Ireland 17-3 South Africa 

How do the Springboks hurt Ireland? Not seeing any breakthroughs at this point in all honesty. Ireland's defence has been resolute, Aki leading the way with 15 tackles.

Monster hit from Stockdale forces the error from Leyds. Symbolic of the entire contest.

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Credit: SKY SPORTS

7:03PM

64 mins - Ireland 17-3 South Africa 

Sexton fuming for more ground after Ireland clear their lines. Lots of complaints about the kit clashes it seems on social media while Ireland keep on winning ruck penalties. Sexton gleefully finds a good touch.

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Young Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale Credit: PA

6:59PM

60 mins - Ireland 17-3 South Africa 

Stander at fault with a penalty, Pollard thumping the ball to touch in Ireland's half. Boks desperately need something to stay in the game.

6:54PM

PENALTY SEXTON! Ireland 17-3 South Africa

No mistake from the veteran number ten as Ireland's 14-point buffer is restored.

6:52PM

55 mins - Ireland 14-3 South Africa

Penalty Ireland and there's no doubt Sexton will go for the sticks. South Africa looking to mix things up as Venter and Pollard prepare to come on.

@bencoles_ Ireland schooling The Boks all over the park! How the mighty have fallen! Ireland showing the credentials. Half backs best in the world right now!

— John McEnerney (@MackerOnTheMed) 11 November 2017

6:50PM

53 mins - Ireland 14-3 South Africa

O'Mahony's shift is done, replaced by Ruddock. Overlap for the Boks but once again Ireland's breakdown defence is outstanding, Ruddock immediately on and winning a penalty.

6:47PM

50 mins - Ireland 14-3 South Africa

Much brighter start for South Africa. Mtawarira pumping the legs, only for Ireland again to come up with a turnover. South Africa's ball security will be driving Allister Coetzee mad. Ireland clear.

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Credit: SPORTSFILE

6:44PM

47 mins - Ireland 14-3 South Africa

Louw singled out this time by the officials as Ireland kick to touch inside SA's 22, but Ireland fail to capitalise and an error hands the visitors a scrum. Poor kick from Jantjies, bouncing kindly for Kearney but Ireland knock-on. Springbok scrum.

6:40PM

PENALTY JANTJIES! Ireland 14-3 South Africa

The Springboks are on the board at last. Stander penalised in the tackle area and Jantjies steps up to slot three points.

6:38PM

Second half underway

Sexton gets proceedings started, with Cronje's box kick getting South Africa out of trouble. Kearney then turned over at the ruck and the Springboks kick to touch from a penalty.

6:22PM

HALF-TIME: Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Aki watches as the ball slides into touch, right by where O'Mahony was getting some treatment as he goes off holding his side.

Commanding first half from Ireland capped off by that Conway try in the corner. Ireland winning the collisions and comfortable also in defence in a very encouraging start to their campaign for Joe Schmidt.

Second half on the way!

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Credit: SPORTSFILE

6:20PM

40 mins - Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Promising attack for Ireland after an up-and-under comes up short after South Africa's defence produces a penalty, Louw doing a good job on O'Brien at the ruck.

Jantjies clears to touch and we play the lineout - but Ireland turn it over! One last chance then in this first half. 

6:17PM

38 mins - Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Scrum for South Africa inside their own half, Ireland's defence hardly creaking thus far and looking comfortable out wide.

Kick over the top is missed by Kearney! Could have been costly but Henshaw mops up and Ireland clear.

6:13PM

34 mins - Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Springboks close to striking off turnover ball, but after Ireland clear to touch Cronje is penalised, allowing the hosts to clear.

6:11PM

32 mins - Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Ireland's defence holds. CJ Stander with the pats on the back after winning a breakdown penalty when the Springboks were building the phases. Frustrating times for the visitors.

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Conway's try for Ireland Credit: SPORTSFILE

6:08PM

30 mins - Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Ireland go offside, with Jantjies gratefully thumping the ball into touch. Catch and drive with Marx at the tail. Penalty South Africa and they will go to touch.

6:04PM

28 mins - Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Bit of treatment for O'Mahony after Ireland knock on under the high ball. Springbok scrum and they need a foothold here.

6:03PM

27 mins - Ireland 14-0 South Africa

Sexton's conversion slides down the right-hand post, but Ireland are in complete control.

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Credit: SKY SPORTS

6:01PM

TRY CONWAY! Ireland 14-0 South Africa

That man Conway does it again! A first try on his fourth cap after a box kick from Murray. Skosan is nowhere near it and Conway pounces to finish in the corner.

6:00PM

25 mins - Ireland 9-0 South Africa

Louw driving O'Brien backwards, with neither side really finding space to attack. Big hits all around as we set up for another scrum on the far side.

5:57PM

22 mins - Ireland 9-0 South Africa

Conway has been excellent, producing another great take there under the high ball. Lots of kicking at present as both sides try and get some territory.

5:56PM

PENALTY SEXTON!  Ireland 9-0 South Africa

No mistake from the Ireland veteran, and the hosts are in control.

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Credit: SKY SPORTS

5:54PM

19 mins - Ireland 6-0 South Africa

Big break from Conway, the Munster wing weaving his way upfield as Ireland win yet another penalty. Sexton lines it up.

5:53PM

16 mins - Ireland 6-0 South Africa

Pats on the back for Stockdale after he forces a knock-on. Scrum just inside Ireland's half.

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Credit: SPORTSFILE

5:50PM

13 min - PENALTY IRELAND

Ireland have an advantage as they spread wide, but it's all a bit scruffy and they knock on. Still, back for a penalty that Sexton slots comfortably.

5:47PM

10 min

Another penalty for Ireland at the scrum - "not pushing straight" yells the referee. With Oosthuizen off injured, this is an area the Irish can take advantage.

5:45PM

8 min

Jantjies takes the ball flat and at speed but runs straight into the brick wall that is Aki.

5:43PM

5 min

Impressive first four minutes from Aki as he charges into the Bok defensive line. Both teams exchange kicks before South Africa finally decide to spread the ball. De Allende finds himself with room - there's space out wide and an acre of green in behind the Ireland defence - but the centre punts the ball straight to Kearney who clears. What a wasted opportunity.

5:39PM

3 min - PENALTY IRELAND

Huge scrum from Ireland and a rude introduction for Wilco Louw - Oosthuizen's replacement - as the Irish demolish the Springbok pack and win a penalty. Sexton steps up... and slots it!

5:36PM

2 min

Applause for Oosthuizen as he is taken off the field. Massive blow for the Boks.

5:35PM

2 min

South Africa prop Oosthuizen is already down injured after he looked to take the ball into contact and gets smashed back by a double hit from Sexton and Aki. Replays suggest he twisted his knee. This is not good for SA. 

5:34PM

1 min

And we're off as Jantjies kicks off in the sleet-grey of Dublin and Sexton returns the ball with interest to set up good position just inside the Springbok half.

5:19PM

Can South Africa close the gap on Ireland?

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5:02PM

Ireland v South Africa - all you need to know

What is it?

Ireland welcome South Africa to the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, in their first autumn Test of the year.

When is it?

It's today, so Saturday November 11.

What time is kick off?

Ireland's first international fixture of the autumn begins at 5:30pm.

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South Africa will be the visitors at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday  Credit: Getty Images 

What TV channel is it on? 

You can watch the game live on Sky Sports Action or Sky Sports Main Event.

Build up to the match begins from 5:15pm, immediately after the culmination of England's clash with Argentina. 

Team news

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Bundee Aki will make his Ireland debut against the Springboks  Credit: Getty Images 

21-year-old Jacob Stockdale will make his first Ireland appearance on home soil against South Africa on Saturday in Dublin.

The Ulster winger is joined a new-look backline for Ireland featuring debutant Bundee Aki and Andrew Conway. 

Aki was born in New Zealand to Samoan parents and recently qualified to represent Ireland through residency rules.

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby has defended the decision to select Aki over more established homegrown players like Simon Zebo.

"The rules are the rules and Bundee has invested time into moving to Connacht and has played exceptionally well while playing here," said Easterby.

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Simon Easterby puts his forwards through their paces  Credit: AP 

"There is always the question over eligibility of players, whether it's residency, grand-parentage, parentage if players aren't born in the country.

"Bundee and other players will be potentially singled out but he's certainly fitted in well and has trained well. We're really happy with what he's already shown in terms of his training.

"I'd say he wouldn't be listening to, or privy to that criticism. He's a confident character, he's confident in his ability.

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Robbie Henshaw and Joe Schmidt during an Ireland press conference  Credit: Getty Images

"He wouldn't have put himself in this position had he not had the confidence in himself and in the group that they back him in that decision. He's not the first and he won't be the last player to do it."

Aki will partner Ireland captain Robbie Henshaw in the centres with Garry Ringrose and Jared Payne both unavailable through injury. 

Schmidt confirmed that Earls, who picked up a training ground injury, is a doubt for the entire autumn series.

"We were looking for form players. We wanted to reward players who were playing well for their provinces and we also wanted experience. I think we have both," Schmidt explained. 

Springbok controversy

South Africa's preparations have been rocked by comments made by former Springbok Ollie Le Roux regarding Allister Coetzee’s eligibility to be South Africa head coach.

Le Roux, who played 54 Tests for the Springboks between 1994 and 2002, said in an interview with the Irish Independent this week that Coetzee “knew nothing” of what it meant to be a Springbok since he had never played for the team.

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Former Springbok Ollie Le Roux has criticised Coetzee  Credit: Getty Images 

Le Roux had said: “What does Allister Coetzee know about Springboks? Nothing. He's got no right to even mention the word Springbok, because he's not a Springbok. He's got no right to even have an opinion about the Springboks.

“Same with Heyneke Meyer, Jake White. Ja, he won a World Cup by hook or by crook, but Gert Smal played for the Springboks, someone like that comes and says something, he's been there... for Rassie (Erasmus - SA Rugby's new director of rugby) to build that culture, he must get those guys working at grassroots level.”

What are they saying?

Joe Schmidt:

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Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has defended Ireland's selection policy  Credit: REX

“If we want a window where we can be as competitive as we can but also grow the group a bit, this is it,” Schmidt said. 

“That is part of our strategy behind some of the guys in the back three, the second row and the front row. The next window is a massive pressure cooker for us, the Six Nations, the big competition of the year. 

"We are excited to see how the new guys go: we want an immediate return on our investment but we are also prepared to take a longer-term view.”

Alistair Coetzee:

"Ireland beat us here in 2014 and with an experienced coaching team and world class players, they are rightfully considered as the favourites and are one of few teams in the last five years that managed to beat the All Blacks," said Coetzee.

"The Irish have a world-class half-back pair and their set-piece play is extremely good, so it will be a great battle on Saturday.

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Alister Coetzee shakes hands with captain Eben Etzebeth following their defeat to New Zealand earlier this year  Credit: Getty Images

"They know how to keep the ball and use a good kicking game to put teams under pressure."

The Springbok coach now expects Eben Etzebeth to lead the charge against their hosts in the Aviva stadium on Saturday evening.

“Eben did limited training with the team when they arrived in Dublin on Saturday. He will be taking full part in training this afternoon. I have no concerns about him whatsoever and he will be fit to lead the team against Ireland.”

Bettings odds

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Ireland's Stuart Olding avoids a Springbok tackle  Credit: AP 

Ireland 1/2

South Africa 2/1 

Draw 20/1

Prediction

Ireland 28 South Africa 21


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