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South Africa 27-20 Ireland: Springboks ‘deserved to win’ first Test – Farrell

Ireland look sure to be forced into changes for the second Test in Durban next week after hooker Dan Sheehan, centre Robbie Henshaw, debutant full-back Jamie Osborne and scrum-half Craig Casey all left the game in Pretoria through injury.

Springbok’s head coach Rassie Erasmus is expecting an even greater challenge from the tourists second time around.

“Ireland will work out what we tried to do and we’re going to try and work out what they did because they also scored three tries,” said Erasmus.

“Just like [on Saturday], they never give up. They’ll try to be more dominant.

“They had an injury at hooker and their nine went down, so there were disruptive things in the game.

“I thought the Cheslin try was probably the put-away where we were lucky. But until the last second, we were still nervy about the game.

“So no, they’re definitely not going to run away. They’re going to be better next weekend and we will have to really perform.”

The Springboks victory ended a run of three consecutive Irish victories in this fixture and it was Erasmus’ first win over the nation where he worked for 18 months as Munster’s director of rugby.

“Since 2018, this is the only team that we had a zero percent success rate against, including New Zealand and the Lions,” he added.

“They really had our number and they came back so strongly. I think if they didn’t have big injuries, I think the game would have been much tighter.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a monkey off our back but it’s a really good, competitive team that’s number two [in the world rankings] and any day can beat you and be number one.”

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