IRELAND CRASHED to the third straight defeat of their South African tour as they were humbled by Currie Cup champions Griqualand West yesterday. Just four days before the first Test against the Springboks in Bloemfontein, Ireland's forwards were constantly driven back by a determined Griquas pack.
Trailing 31-8 at half-time, the touring side were more competitive in the second-half when British Lion Keith Wood was introduced, but a worrying aspect for coach Warren Gatland was the number of times they were caught offside. Their indiscipline gave Griquas backs Andre Vermeulen and Lawrence Venter the chance to pin the Irish defenders in their own 22 with piercing kicks.
Venter, who will play for the Emerging Springboks in Friday's game against Wales, was instrumental in five of the province's seven tries, scoring twice and playing a major part in three others.
Griqualand West set the scene for the day as early as the fourth minute as hooker Basil de Coning kicked them into the lead, the Irish having been caught offside.
Ireland were level inside the 10th minute as David Humphreys landed a penalty after Griquas had been caught offside but the hosts then ran riot with four tries before the break.
Wood's second-half entry saw the pack respond and they battled fiercely to keep the score unchanged for the first 18 minutes as flanker Trevor Brennan put in some big tackles before being forced off by injury.
Griqualand West: Tries Markram, Venter 2, Vermeulen, Lubbe, Bosman, October. Conversions De Coning 5, October 2. Penalty De Coning. Ireland: Tries Foley, O'Shea. Penalty Humphreys.
Griqualand West: Vermeulen; Scholtz, Venter, Lubbe, Bosman; Markham, Husselman; De Waal Venter, De Coning, Theron, Van der Berg, Smit, Krause, Engelbrecht, Watts.
IRELAND: Armstrong; Bishop, Humphreys, Hegarty; P Clohessey, Jackman; D Clohessey, Galway; Fulcher, Brennan, Foley, Wallace. Clarke, Wallace, Keane.
Referee: T Henning.Reuse content