South Africa 8; Ireland 13
World-ranked No. 1 side Ireland beat reigning champions South Africa, the No. 2-ranked team, in Paris Saturday evening, making it three wins out of three in Pool B.
The sides scored a try apiece, but Ireland’s superior kicking proved the difference in the 13-8 thriller. With France leading Pool A, Ireland are currently less likely to face the host nation in the quarterfinals. The Irish have a two-week break before facing Scotland in their last Pool B game. A positive result in that match-up may lead to a last-8 game against three-time World Cup winners New Zealand.
Mack Hansen scored the only Irish try, which captain Sexton converted to make it 7-3 at the break. Cheslin Kolbe's try for the Springboks made it 8-7, but they failed to convert and missed other penalty opportunities. Sexton's penalty put Ireland ahead again and his replacement Jack Crowley’s late penalty made the gap 5 points. South Africa pressed for the equalizing try, and the possibility of kicked winner via a conversion, but the game ended with a huge maul close to the Irish line.
Ireland's Bundee Aki was named the Man of the Match for the second time in a Pool B game.
Ireland: Keenan; Hansen, Ringrose, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (captain), Gibson-Park; Porter, Kelleher, Furlong, Ryan, Beirne, O'Mahony, Van der Flier, Doris. Replacements: Sheehan, Bealham, Kilcoyne, Henderson, Baird, Murray, Crowley, Henshaw.