South Africa v Ireland: Jamie Heaslip expects Johannesburg 'cauldron'

Jamie Heaslip
Jamie Heaslip has won 86 caps for Ireland
South Africa v Ireland
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg Date: Saturday, 18 June Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary and report on BBC Sport website

Ireland back row Jamie Heaslip says his side face a "daunting task" to secure a second successive win over South Africa, and with it a series victory.

The Irish won last weekend's first Test 26-20, and the sides meet again in Johannesburg on Saturday.

"It's going to be such a cauldron, really exciting," said Heaslip.

"If you look at history, it's quite hard to win a series in South Africa. All teams have struggled to do it, so we are aware of how difficult it is."

Heaslip acknowledged the Springboks are a "very tough side" and added Ireland must not get carried away after their victory in the first Test.

He added: "We face a daunting task but we have been doing a lot of work trying to fix a few things for the weekend and we will take confidence into the game."

'Cape Town victory a team effort'

Saturday's victory in Cape Town was the first time Ireland have beaten South Africa on tour, and Heaslip put it down to a "collective effort" from the squad.

"Everyone stepped up and took their opportunity and that's what international rugby is about," he said.

"Some guys who don't have a lot of international experience are growing into their roles, like Luke Marshall and Paddy Jackson.

"It's great to see these guys come here and not be fazed. They have a good head on their shoulders and aren't getting too carried away."

Leinster flanker Rhys Ruddock is likely to come into the side for Saturday's game in place of CJ Stander, who serves a one-week ban after being sent off in Cape Town.

Rhys Ruddock
Rhys Ruddock is expected to replace Stander in Saturday's second Test at Ellis Park

Keeping errors to a minimum is key

Heaslip says Ireland must focus on the basics if they are to wrap up the series at Ellis Park this weekend.

"International rugby always boils down to the same things - the team that makes the least mistakes is usually the team that comes out on top, whether it be penalties, turnovers or whatever," he said.

"You learn a lot from week one but you have to consider that your opponents may not have shown everything and might change their game plan, then you come into the mind games.

"We know what they are about and will pay them due respect but we must focus on what we are doing."

The third and final Test will be played at Port Elizabeth on 25 June.

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