PORT ELIZABETH – Ireland will be driven by the anger of letting a series-clinching victory slip through their grasp when they take on South Africa in the third and deciding test in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, scrumhalf Conor Murray has said. “I think we’re really angry at ourselves. We can right the wrongs this weekend,” Murray said of Ireland’s 32-26 defeat at Ellis Park last Saturday that leaves the series evenly poised ahead of the final showdown at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Ireland beat the Springboks in South Africa for the first time ever with a 26-20 triumph at Newlands and then held a 16-point lead in the second test in Johannesburg before being steamrollered by the hosts in a dramatic late comeback.
“We ended up standing off the South Africans and soaking a few tackles, which gave them front-foot ball and allowed them to get into their rhythm.
“The atmosphere in camp is one of annoyance and that we left things out there. You can feel it around the place. People are hungry to get training and just go ahead, which is good,” Murray told a press conference.
“I think we could have snatched it at the weekend, so I think there’s such motivation there, genuinely.
“We definitely believe we can do it. We’ve just got to stay tight, stay together. It’s our last game of the season, and it’s a massive one and we’ve just got to give it everything.
“This a chance at history, it would have been unbelievable to have won at Ellis Park and it’s very disappointing the way it ended, but we’ve got a chance now to win a series in South Africa which is very, very difficult and very, very rare.”
Murray, expected to win his 50th cap in Port Elizabeth, says the bruising tour at the end of a long season for Ireland, including participation in last year’s Rugby World Cup, would serve the team well when they next play at the end of the year.
“I don’t think I’ve ever learnt more on a tour or with a group of lads,” he added.
“For young lads coming in and guys who have been around for a while, it’s been a great growing experience. We’ve been understanding how to play test rugby in tough environments.”(Reuters)