The Breakdown | Power rankings: Ireland top after epic win over world champions

New Zealand sit third after Scott Robertson’s strong start and England have work to do after a 2-0 defeat

Ciarán Frawley’s last-gasp drop goal sealed a stunning win in Durban, ensuring South Africa had failed to win a series against Ireland for the first time. It was the latest thrilling instalment of the global game’s leading rivalry at present and Ireland have now won two of their last three against the Springboks. Add in the 2022 series win in New Zealand and Ireland’s ability to pick up away victories in the southern hemisphere sets them apart from their European rivals. That they went to South Africa and drew the series without Jamison Gibson-Park speaks volumes about the depth Farrell has unearthed, with full-back Jamie Osborne the latest to flourish. Farrell does not pick his British and Irish Lions squad for around 10 months but at this rate it will be dominated by his Irish charges.

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Frawley’s last-gasp drop goal seals stunning win for Ireland in South Africa

  • South Africa 24-25 Ireland
  • Jack Crowley scores 14 points in thrilling Durban victory

Ciarán Frawley coolly landed a last-gasp drop goal as Ireland weathered a second-half storm to pull off a stunning 25-24 victory in Durban and secure a 1-1 series draw against South Africa. Frawley stepped off the bench to split the posts in dramatic fashion with the final action of a thrilling encounter at Kings Park Stadium after a similar effort 10 minutes earlier.

Andy Farrell’s side had looked set to slip to an agonising defeat to the back-to-back world champions after Conor Murray’s try helped reward a ferocious first-half display with a 16-6 lead. The flawless fly-half Handré Pollard slotted eight penalties to turn the contest in the Springboks’ favour on the back of their 27-20 triumph last weekend in Pretoria.

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