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South Africa beat Ireland in Pretoria

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World champions South Africa beat Ireland 27-20 at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Saturday's match in Pretoria marked the Springboks' first meeting since the 2023 World Cup, with both teams scoring three tries each.

South Africa set the pace right from the kick-off. Winger Arendse opened the scoring in the third minute as Kolisi broke through the Irish defense with a pass. The visitors tried to respond but their only reward in the first half hour was a penalty goal. Handre Pollard's boot gave the Springboks a ten-point lead before Osborne's try in the 36th minute saw Ireland close the gap.

The second half began on the same footing, with South Africa dominating territory but lacking in attacking efficiency. Pollard's missed penalty in the 46th minute gave Ireland hope. The Irish thought they had tied it on a long run from Lowe, but the attempt was disallowed due to illegal tailgating.

The Springboks capitalized on an Irish error to score a try to Cheslin Kolbe in the 67th minute after Irish scrum-half Casey was taken off a stretcher after a concussion. Ireland continued to fight back, picking up a yellow card against Arendtse in the 74th minute and scoring a try through Murray four minutes later. But a South African penalty in the 78th minute sealed victory, despite Bairdin's last Irish corner try in the final seconds.

This difficult but deserved victory allows South Africa to continue its momentum after its World Cup title. The Irish, though beaten, showed great resistance and fighting spirit, and future encounters were close and exciting.

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In short, this meeting lived up to expectations, with intense and physical play, turnovers and moments of bravery on both sides. Winning this duel cements the Springboks' status as champions, while Ireland prove they remain a formidable force in international rugby.

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