Missed chances knee halter Goats

Henry

If a telenovela scriptwriter were ever to pen a series called “Missed Chances”, he could surely approach a few Springbok players to play the main roles.

Because tonight at the Stade de France, the South Africans let a few opportunities slip through their fingers to score points against Ireland.

A crooked lineout on the Irish’s goal line here and four missed set-piece attempts there contributed to the Bok consternation.

In the end, the world’s leading rugby team beat the defending world champion 13 – 8 in an important World Cup group match.

The result means that South Africa will probably have to play host country France in the quarter-finals of the international rugby spectacle.

But in between the points-through-the-fingers-letting-slip moments there were at least a few highlights as well.

The Springbok team was loaded with forwards tonight, but they admittedly struggled at times to make a decent mark on the game. They did make life night for the Irish in the lines.

Ronan Kelleher ghosted and struggled to find willing Irish hands in the lineouts and the Goats often shook off possession in that way.

Still, the Irish managed to make things difficult for South Africa at the break points and after 40 minutes of play they enjoyed a lead of 7 – 3.

The Bomb Squad players at least managed a few scrum penalties in the second half, while Damian Willemse frequently impressed with his darting runs.

But Ireland took their opportunities to score, while South Africa’s struggling kicking performance certainly did not boost the team’s match-winning ambitions.

Libbok missed two set-piece attempts, while Faf de Klerk’s radar wasn’t quite set either.

Perhaps sometimes it would have been a better decision to look for the touchline rather than to regularly kick at the posts; after all, the Irish struggled to rank effectively in the lines.

At least the Boks have already held up the Webb Ellis trophy after losing a group stage match. However, things are not going to get much bleaker going forward.

  • Scorers:

Ireland: Three: Mack Hansen. Goal kick: Johnny Sexton. Penalties: Sexton and Jack Crowley.

South Africa: Three: Cheslin Kolbe. Penalty kick: Manie Libbok.