South Africa v Ireland: Toner says Irish have history on their minds

Devin Toner
Devin Toner shows his disappointment after South Africa mounted a comeback to win the second Test in Johannesburg
South Africa v Ireland
Venue: Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth Date: Saturday, 25 June Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary and report on BBC Sport website

Second row Devin Toner says Ireland can create history by beating South Africa in Saturday's decisive third Test between the sides in Port Elizabeth.

Ireland won the first Test in Cape Town but the Springboks overcame a 16-point deficit to win 32-26 in Johannesburg.

"Having secured our first win away in South Africa, I think we can push on to create a bit more history," said Toner.

"That's in the back of our heads but we won't get caught up in the emotion of it to the detriment of our gameplan."

"The main thing is that we get our performance right," added the Leinster lock, who scored Ireland's first try on Saturday.

Ireland 'not over' second Test defeat

Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne and Rhys Ruddock trudge off the pitch after the defeat in Johannesburg
Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne and Rhys Ruddock trudge off the pitch after the defeat in Johannesburg

That touchdown helped Joe Schmidt's side to a 19-3 half-time lead, but four second-half tries saw South Africa bounce back to level the series.

"We're not really over it, we're still hurting and still very much in recovery mode, with a lot of sore bodies in the camp.

"We know that we should have won but we just let it slip in the last 15 or 20 minutes - we'll try to build our way into the week and be ready to peak on Saturday.

"I expect South Africa to play as they did in that last quarter as they will take a lot of confidence from their last 20 minutes but we can't let them do that again - we can't let them run at us and get over the gain line as easy as they did."

Ireland will be without centre Robbie Henshaw for the deciding encounter because of a knee cartilage injury, but Munster flanker CJ Stander is available again after serving a one-week ban.

'Confident' in scrum and set-pieces

Toner said Ireland hope to get on top in the scrum on Saturday.

"We are quite confident in our scrum as we have been working on it all year. With the props we have, I think we'll be able to dominate if we get things right, but it comes down to the day," he said.

"We stood off them in the second Test and stood off some tackles - I don't know whether it came down to lapses of concentration or if the lads were just tired.

"We only had five line-outs of our own and messed some of them up because of communication breakdowns. They have fantastic operators in the second row but we fronted up to them and we will have to do that again.

"We pride ourselves in our set-piece and have a lot of confidence in our backs to get over the gainline.

"We will take confidence from our performance in the first game and the first half of the second match and we know that we can do it and negate their threats."

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