Saturday, November 28, 2009

Test Rugby: South Africa and Ireland Meet

South Africa v Ireland in Dublin

Venue: Croke Park

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

This is one of the major test matches to be played in the November window. South Africa arrive at Croke Park with the Southern Hemisphere Tri Nations to their name, and of course, holder of the Rugby World Cup. Ireland front up as 6 Nations champions plus the Grand Slam winners of the last season.

South Africa rallied to defeat Italy last weekend, their first win on a horror tour. I give credit to the South Africans for including two mid-week games on this tour, bringing back memories of how touring teams played two games a week, for weeks on ends in the good old days. They lost those two mid-week games, and the test against France.

The biggest surprise for Ireland must be the selection of Jonathan Sexton at flyhalf ahead of veteran Ronan O'Gara. Apart from that selection, the rest of the team looks to be as predicted

Last Five Encounters
11.11.2006 Ireland 32-15 in Dublin
13.11.2004 Ireland 17-12 in Dublin
19.06.2004 South Africa 26-17 in Capetown
12.06.2004 South Africa 31-17 in Bloemfontein
19.11.2000 South Africa 28-18 in Dublin

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-South Africa 2nd, Ireland 6th

Prediction: Ireland by 7



15 Robert Kearney (Leinster)
14 Thomas Bowe (Neath Swansea Ospreys, Wales)
13 Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster), Capt.
12 Patrick Wallace (Ulster)
11 Keith Earls (Munster)
10 Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)
9 Tomas O'Leary (Munster)
8 James Heaslip (Leinster)
7 David Wallace (Munster)
6 Stephen Ferris (Ulster)
5 Paul O'Connell (Munster)
4 Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster)
3 John Hayes (Munster)
2 Jeremy Flannery, (Munster)
1 Cian Healy (Leinster)
16 Sean Cronin (Connacht)
17 Anthony Buckley (Munster)
18 Leo Cullen (Leinster)
19 Denis Leamy (Munster)
20 Peter Stringer (Munster)
21 Ronan O'Gara (Munster)
22 Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster)
Head Coach: Declan Kidney


South Africa
15 Zane Kirchner (Blue Bulls)
14 JP Pietersen (Natal Sharks)
13 Jaque Fourie (Lions)
12 Wynand Olivier (Blue Bulls)
11 Bryan Habana (Blue Bulls)
10 Morne Steyn (Blue Bulls)
9 Fourie du Preez (Blue Bulls)
8 Danie Rossouw (Blue Bulls)
7 Schalk Burger (Western Province)
6 Heinrich Brussow (Free State Cheetahs)
5 Victor Matfield (Blue Bulls)
4 Bakkies Botha (Blue Bulls)
3 BJ Botha (Ulster, Ireland)
2 John Smit, Capt. (Natal Sharks)
1 Tendai Mtawarira (Natal Sharks)
16 Bismarck du Plessis (Natal Sharks)
17 CJ van der Linde (Leinster, Ireland)
18 Andries Bekker (Western Province)
19 Jean Deysel (Natal Sharks)
20 Dewald Potgieter (Blue Bulls)
21 Ruan Pienaar (Natal Sharks)
22 Jean de Villiers (Munster, Ireland)
Head Coach: Peter de Villiers

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