LIMERICK pair Conor Murray and Keith Earls played starring roles as 14-man Ireland claimed their first win in South Africa with a deserved 26-20 victory over the Springboks.
Highly influential scrum-half Murray grabbed a crucial second half try as Joe Schmidt’s side scored a famous and heroic win in Newlands, Cape Town.
Murray’s Munster team mate Keith Earls turned in an eye-catching display on the wing, posing a constant threat with ball in hand and proving to be defensively solid all through.
Ireland’s hopes were dealt a major blow as early as the 22nd minute when flanker CJ Stander, playing against his native South Africa for the first time, was red-carded for a first-half challenge on Springbok outhalf Pat Lambie.
Limerick-born Leinster hooker Sean Cronin enjoyed an impressive cameo appearance off the replacements bench in the final quarter, making several big carries and crucial tackles
Jared Payne's try helped Ireland lead 7-0 and they were 10-3 ahead when Stander was dismissed.
Lwazi Mvovo's try saw the Springboks edge ahead as Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw was also sin-binned.
But Murray's second-half try and eight Paddy Jackson points were enough to secure Ireland clinch a special victory despite Pieter-Steph du Toit's try.
This was Ireland’s eighth Test meeting with the Springboks in South Africa.
Ireland have now won six of their 23 meetings with South Africa in international rugby, while one game finished in a draw.