Ireland narrowly failed to win the first Test at the new Aviva Stadium as South Africa survived a storming fightback by the hosts in Dublin.
A penalty from Morne Steyn and converted Juan Smith try gave the Boks a 10 point to nil lead, but two Jonny Sexton penalties and one from Steyn made it 6-13 at half-time.
The second period and Jonny Sexton and Steyn traded penalties 9-16, but then Gio Aplon’s score sent the Boks clear 9-23 and a converted Tommy Bowe try and Rob Kearney’s late effort were not enough. Giving us the final score of:
Ireland 21-23 South Africa
Ireland Tries: Bowe, Kearney Cons: O’Gara Pens: Sexton 3
South Africa Tries: Smith, Aplon Cons: Steyn, Lambie Pens: Steyn 3
Ireland: Kearney, Bowe, B. O’Driscoll, D’Arcy, Fitzgerald, Sexton, Reddan, Healy, Best, Buckley, O’Callaghan, M. O’Driscoll, Ferris, D. Wallace, Heaslip.
Replacements: Earls for Kearney (75), O’Gara for Sexton (66), Stringer for Reddan (66), Court for Buckley (51), Ryan for M. O’Driscoll (63).
Not Used: Cronin, Leamy.
South Africa: Aplon, Basson, Kirchner, de Villiers, Habana, M. Steyn, Pienaar, Mtawarira, B. du Plessis, J. du Plessis, Botha, Matfield, Stegmann, Smith, Spies.
Replacements: Jacobs for de Villiers (67), Lambie for M. Steyn (61), van der Linde for J. du Plessis (71), van der Merwe for Botha (71), Daniel for Stegmann (66).
Not Used: Ralepelle, Hougaard.