South Africa v Ireland LIVE: Rugby World Cup 2023 result and final score as Irish outmuscle Springboks

World No 1 side Ireland beat defending world champions South Africa in Paris in perhaps the biggest game of the pool stage

Lawrence Ostlere,Luke Baker
Sunday 24 September 2023 07:35 BST
Ireland’s Johnny Sexton says son will be ‘over the moon’ after breaking record in World Cup

Ireland underlined their status as the number one team in the world with a bruising 13-8 Rugby World Cup victory over defending champions South Africa in Paris on Saturday, though the Springboks will rue their inaccuracy off the kicking tee.

Ireland scored their only try in the first half through wing Mack Hansen as he found some rare space out wide and led 7-3 at the break but had to withstand a barrage of Springbok pressure in the second half amid a raucous atmosphere.

South Africa’s only try came from winger Cheslin Kolbe but they missed the conversion and three penalty chances to highlight their goal-kicking woes and perhaps hasten the return of experienced fly-half Handre Pollard to the team.

Ireland will be odds-on to win the pool as they claimed a 16th test win in a row, while South Africa suffer defeat in a World Cup game for the first time in nine matches and will likely have to beat Tonga in their final group game on 1 October.

Follow all of the reaction from Stade de France. Plus get the latest Rugby World Cup odds here and tips on Ireland vs South Africa here.


Ireland prove they can win Rugby World Cup after beating up Springboks

France vs New Zealand got this Rugby World Cup off to a compelling start amid a febrile atmosphere, Wales vs Fiji provided the controversy and last-gasp drama before the Fijians then delivered the well-deserved upset against Australia. But it’s Ireland’s narrow, 13-8 win over South Africa that will go down as this tournament’s first true example of vintage, pure Test match rugby. And it was spell-binding.

Report from Paris, by Luke Baker:

Ireland prove they can win Rugby World Cup after beating up Springboks

South Africa 8-13 Ireland: An incredible Test match ended with Ireland sealing their greatest World Cup win in a possible preview of the final

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 22:42

Full-time: South Africa 8-13 Ireland

Johnny Sexton speaks: “It felt like a home fixture. We were told there were 30,000 Irish fans coming over – it felt like double that. We’ve had big wins before, especially in the pool stages, like beating France in Cardiff, but never backed it up by getting past the quarter-finals, as we keep being reminded. But all our focus now is on Scotland.

“I’m OK, the intensity... No disrespect to our first two opponents but that was a proper test match. I’ll get some rest and then prepare for Scotland.”

South Africa's Damian Willemse in action with Ireland's Johnny Sexton

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 22:24

Full-time: South Africa 8-13 Ireland

Mack Hansen speaks: “It was like a grand slam on steroids out there. It seemed like there was 800,000 people out there, it was unbelievable. To get a win over the defending champions, it doesn’t get better than that. But we’ve got a tough game against a really good Scotland team next week, and if we win that, it’s either France or New Zealand in the quarter-finals. So it doesn’t get any easier.”

Mack Hansen scores Ireland’s first-half try

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 22:17

Full-time: South Africa 8-13 Ireland

Bryan Habana both loved and hated that match:

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 22:09

Full-time: South Africa 8-13 Ireland

Bundee Aki speaks: “These Irish fans are incredible, I’ve never experienced anything like it. South Africa are outstanding, they gave it to us from the start. I’m pretty sure we’ll see them again later in this competition and it’ll be even more intense.”

Bundee Aki charges forwards with the ball in hand

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 22:00

Full-time: South Africa 8-13 Ireland

There are still games to be played in this pool stage, but it is looking likely that the quarter-finals could see hosts France take on reigning champions South Africa, and Ireland face New Zealand. Tasty. Scotland could still have something to say about that, though.

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 21:57

Full-time: South Africa 8-13 Ireland

Ireland have beaten South Africa 13-8 in their World Cup Pool B match in Paris to lay down a marker for the rest of the tournament.

Mack Hansen’s first-half try gave the Irish a four point lead at half-time and although Cheslin Kolbe hit back with a try for the Springboks in the second half, a series of missed kicks cost them dearly.

Replacement fly-half Jack Crowley added a late penalty as Ireland triumphed 13-8 to put themselves on the cusp of the quarter-finals.

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 21:54

Full-time: South Africa 8-13 Ireland

Ireland win a penalty from the lineout and that’s it – they celebrate as the whistle blows!

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 21:49

South Africa 8-13 Ireland

79 min: South Africa win a penalty on the halfway line and Libbok boots to the corner. There will one final play from a South Africa lineout inside the Irish 22...

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 21:47

Penalty! South Africa 8-13 Ireland (Crowley)

77 min: Ireland’s pack holds firm and they win another penalty from South Africa, who offered up a double shove before the ball had been put in. A simple kick, and Ireland extend their lead.

Lawrence Ostlere23 September 2023 21:45

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