Rory Best hails ‘massive physical performance’ after South Africa win
Springbok skipper Adriaan Strauss unhappy at side’s lack of discipline
Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt celebrates with captain Rory Best after the victory over South Africa at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
Ireland captain Rory Best hailed a “massive physical performance” after they recorded a first win on South African soil despite playing with 14 men for an hour.
The tourists held on for a 26-20 victory having lost CJ Stander to a red card against the country of his birth.
“We knew to come here and get a victory would be unbelievably tough and require a massive physical performance,” Best told Sky Sports 1.
“We dug really deep to get that win. If we had sat back and kept giving them ball we would have eventually run out of steam, so we had to take the game to them.
“There are a lot of tired boys who are running on empty now after the euphoria of the win.”
Man of the match Devin Toner echoed his captain’s sentiments.
“I am really proud of everyone to be honest,” he said. “What happened after 20 minutes meant we needed to dig deep.
“We know they are an awesome, strong side so we really needed to knuckle down and we did that.”
South Africa captain Adriaan Strauss admitted his team missed the opportunity to punish Ireland once they were at a numerical disadvantage.
“We had our chances. Our discipline let us down,” he said.
“Every time we had the ball we lost it with unforced errors or gave away a penalty. There were easy mistakes which cost us.
“We did play good rugby at times but just when we started playing we lost the ball so that is something we need to have a look at.
“The result on the day is the most important and we are very disappointed with that.”