- Pool B: South Africa 8-13 Ireland
- No 1 side see off defending champions in physical encounter
The Rugby World Cup still has five more weeks to run and this was only a pool game. It is almost impossible to conceive, even so, of a heavier-duty occasion than this impossibly physical Saturday night smackdown in Saint-Denis. The intensity was off the scale and when the final whistle sounded it was as much a case of counting the survivors back in again as totting up the actual points.
There was also the knowledge that these sides could yet bump into each other again at the tournament’s business end. If so, strap in. Some big games struggle to live up to the hype but here was a match as relentlessly tight and tense as any final. For Ireland to come out on top ranks up there with anything they have achieved on their rise to the top of the world rankings.
Written by Robert Kitson at the Stade de France
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/sep/23/south-africa-ireland-rugby-world-cup-match-report under the title “Sexton steers Ireland to victory as South Africa pay penalty for poor kicking”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.