South Africa 32-26 Ireland: Springboks stunning comeback levels series
Last Updated: 19/06/16 9:07am
South Africa produced a brilliant second-half performance against Ireland to come from 16 points down to win 32-26 and force their three-Test series to a decider in Port Elizabeth next week.
Allister Coetzee's side produced four tries to overcome a 19-3 half-time deficit and turn a booing Ellis Park into a jubilant scene of celebration at full-time.
Ireland simply could not live with the Springboks' power after the break as the home side's bench made their mark, with local heroes Ruan Combrinck and Warren Whiteley coming on to score before Pieter Steph du Toit and Damian De Allende finished the job. Ireland's only reply coming from Jamie Heaslip's rolling maul effort.
Elton Jantjies kicked South Africa into an early lead but it was the fly-half that kept the scoreboard ticking throughout, dissecting the Ellis Park posts with four attempts at goal before the first try of the match came on the 35 minute mark, when Lwazi Mvovo's vulnerability under the high ball was exposed.
The winger failed to deal with a lofted kick, Irish winger Andrew Trimble reacting fastest when he skilfully tapped the ball back allowing his side to get on the front foot before before lock Devin Toner barged over.
After a nightmare first-half littered with errors, South Africa came out firing after the break and got their just rewards for a sustained period of pressure on 56 minutes when Ruan Combrink scored in the corner on his home turf.
Jantjes converted but Ireland hit back almost instantly as Furlong blocked Faf du Klerk down and gathered, before South Africa infringed and Rory Best pointed to the corner. Ireland brought it down and mauled, with Jamie Heaslip touching down and Jackson was spot on from the touchline to restore the lead.
South Africa continued to bombard their opponents with wave after wave of attack and Combrink ensured his side were the ones to seize the momentum when he brushed Jared Payne aside allowing Whiteley to step his way around the Irish defence and over the line.
Momentum continued the way of the Springboks when du Toit powered over from close range, the Jantjies conversion narrowing the gap to just four.
Ireland's hopes of victory were snatched away just five minutes from time when de Allende swept aside a tired Conor Murray to score, Jantjies adding the conversion and a further penalty to send the series into a Port Elizabeth decider.