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2017-18 International Rugby U20 Ireland U20 South Africa U20 World Rugby U20 Championship

U20 World Championship: South Africa 30 Ireland 17

A Wandisile Simelane hat trick eased South Africa to a comfortable win over Ireland on match-day two of the World Rugby U20 Championship 2018 at Parc des Sports Et de l’Amitié, Narbonne

Simelane’s three second half tries guided his side to a comeback after tries from Caelan Doris and Michael Silvester had given Ireland the lead at the break.

Ireland suffered a nightmare start as South Africa raced into a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes. Scrum half, Zak Burger charged down Jonny Stewart to score in the first minute while prop forward, Asenathi Ntlabakanye found a good pass to put winger Muller du Plessis over the line at the end of the first quarter. Stormers’ out half Damian Willemse converted the first.

Ireland got into the game in the second quarter, Conor Dean opening Ireland’s account with a penalty before captain, Doris, crossed on 34 minutes off the back of a scrum. Dean added the conversion to bring the score to 12 – 10 in South africa’s favour at half time.

Ireland continued to press at the start of the second half with Doris to the fore. Two successive line breaks from the No. 8 resulted in spurned chances for James Hume and Tom Roche, one held up over the line the other dropped under pressure, but it was third time lucky when Silvester finished off Doris’ good work. Silvester’s try seven minutes after the restart pushed Ireland into the lead 12 – 17 after Dean converted.

The game settled down for the next ten minutes until South African replacement, Lubabalo Dobela set up Wandisile Simelane for his first try of the match. Dobela chipped Ireland’s first line of defence and regathered before finding his outside centre who had enough pace to beat the scrambling Irish defenders.

Simelane grabbed his second six minutes later. After a rumbling surge from the pack, scrum half Burger hoisted a Garryowen deep into the 22 for the Simelane to chase. He beat Stewart to the ball and dotted down to give South Africa a 22-17 lead. Like against France, Ireland had their lead wiped out in a matter of minutes.

The Junior Boks never looked back, adding to their score with a Gianni Lombard penalty and a third try from Simelane in the closing minutes.

Final score: South Africa 30 Ireland 17.

Commenting after the game, flanker Joe Dunleavy said:

We talked about a 60 minute performance against France and how we needed to put in an 80 minute performance against South Africa.

We put in a lot of hard work mid week so it’s very disappointing to lose out like this.

We need to be more clinical. There were two times where we were in their 22 and came away with nothing so if we can covert those chances then I think we can become a quality side.

In the last game we had a game plan in place around the maul which worked well and the same today although it was not to be.

The lads put in a lot of effort midweek to do with our maul and Paul [O’Connell] has really helped us improve in this area and I think that was evident in parts of today and in against France.

Match gallery below.

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