Rugby Union: Wallace exasperated by `stone-age' tactics

South Africa 37 Ireland 13
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The Independent Online
South Africa 37 Ireland 13

TWENTY-FOUR HOURS of philosophical contemplation has not improved Paul Wallace's mood: if anything he is more frustrated and angrier than ever. As the final whistle sounded in the Bloemfontein stadium, Wallace sunk to the ground, exasperated in the aftermath of Ireland's defeat to South Africa.

The Lions' and Saracens loosehead was blaming `stone-age' tactics and a lack of `physical preparation' for his side's defeat, a reference clearly aimed at coach Warren Gatland's insistence on playing a tight, 10-man game which relies chiefly on forcing the opposition into mistakes.

On Saturday Ireland were immeasurably brave in defence and although their uncompromising approach wasn't pretty to watch, it had the effect of unsettling South Africa who hadn't played together for six months.

By adopting aggressive tackling and spoiling tactics around the fringes, Ward, Costello and O'Kelly surprised the hosts in the opening half-hour. Keith Wood, too, was an annoying presence wherever his stocky frame went.

Yet, inevitably the impetus which Justin Bishop's first-half try had created, disappeared in the final quarter in which Ireland completely lost the plot and their ability to defend in numbers with it.

However, for all the deficiencies in the Irish game, the Springboks were never fully able to impose themselves throughout this contest and it took the 22-year-old winger, Stefan Terblanche, with four glorious tries on his debut, to show the way forward.

South Africa: Tries S Terblanche (4), M Andrews; Conversions G Du Toit (3); Penalties Du Toit (2) Ireland: Tries J Bishop; Penalties E Elwood (2); Conversions Elwood (1).

SOUTH AFRICA: P Montgomery; S Terblanche, P Muller, A Snyman, P Rossouw; G Du Toit, J Van der Westhuizen; O le Roux, J Dalton, A Garvey, M Andrews, K Otto; J Erasmus, A Venter, G Teichmann. Replacements: F Smith for G Du Toit,16, 24.

IRELAND: C O'Shea (London Irish); J Bishop (London Irish) K Maggs (Bristol), M McCall (London Irish), D Hickie (St Mary's); E Elwood (Galwegians), C McGuinness (St Mary's); J Fitzpatrick (London Irish), K Wood (Harlequins), P Wallace (Saracens); P Johns (Saracens, captain), M O'Kelly (London Irish); D O'Cuinneagain (Sale), A Ward (Ballinahinch), V Costello (St Mary's).

Replacements: G Fulcher for P Johns, 67; T Brennan for V Costello, 67; R Henderson for J Bishop, 74

Referee: E Morrison (England).