Ireland Springboks

Ireland celebrate their win over the Springboks. Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

The significant knock-on effect from Springboks’ loss to Ireland

The Springboks’ selection considerations for their final World Cup pool game against Tonga have become a whole lot trickier.

Ireland Springboks

Ireland celebrate their win over the Springboks. Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

The Springboks’ position in pool B at the World Cup is suddenly looking a little less secure after their loss to Ireland this past Saturday, although securing a losing bonus point could prove to be a huge factor in the final reckoning.

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Ireland are now top of the group with 14 points, the Springboks are second on 10, while Scotland are third on five log points after a bonus-point win over Tonga. However, the Scots still have two games to play, while the Boks and Ireland have just one left.

For South Africa to ensure their progress to the quarter-final stage, they simply must beat Tonga with a bonus point this Sunday. Kick off is at 9pm.

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Springboks may need to change selection plan

Although Tonga have struggled to make much of an impression at the World Cup, there is no doubt that they are still a dangerous side with some very talented and physical players.

It’s not the sort of game where the Springboks can just expect to rock up and cruise to victory without at least some challenges initially, and it could add a bit of pressure to proceedings if they don’t get off to a good start.

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The knock-on effect of the latest loss to Ireland is that the coaches may now need to reconsider resting some first-choice players, who would surely have been given this game off if South Africa had beaten the Irish, as that would have virtually secured knockout qualification already.

The Springboks may need to now look at balancing the side with a mix between the first-choice and fringe players, opening up some extra risk of injuries and fatigue.

For example, if South Africa had defeated Ireland, there may have been enough breathing room to start Deon Fourie at hooker, with Marco van Staden covering on the bench, in order to allow for Bongi Mbonambi to receive some much-needed rest before the playoffs. This may now be seen as too much of a risk.

It highlights once again that the loss to Ireland, while not necessarily catastrophic, could to some concerning knock-on effects.

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Sun 24 Sept – Scotland v Tonga (5.45pm, Stade de Nice, Nice)

Sat 30 Sept – Scotland v Romania (9pm, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)

Sun 1 Oct – South Africa v Tonga (9pm, Stade Vélodrome, Marseille)

ALSO READ: “Ireland were better on the day,” Nienaber refuse to blame Libbok

Sat 7 Oct – Ireland v Scotland (9pm, Stade de France, Paris)

Sun 8 Oct – Tonga v Romania (5.45pm, Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille)

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