The Boks won the opening Test of the Castle Lager Incoming Series by 27-20. The series concludes with the second Test against their northern hemisphere rivals in Durban on Saturday 13 July.

The Boks took a 13-8 lead going into the break and had to show their fighting spirt in a gripping second half in which they held a 20-8 lead in the 64th minute. A yellow card to Kurt-Lee Arendse in the 73rd minute saw the match come down to the wire.

The Irish scored two tries within four minutes in the closing stages of the match, but a penalty try from a magnificent scrum by the Boks saw them snatch the victory.

“It’s always tough facing Ireland,” said Du Toit.

“They are a good team and facing them is always a good challenge. Fortunately, we had a lot of experience in the team, and I think that helped us a lot.”

The match marked the first outing between the sides in South Africa since 2016 – which was also the last time the Springboks registered a victory against Ireland – and while Du Toit said they enjoyed the occasion, he added they would immediately turn their attention to next week’s outing in Durban.

“It was nice to play against them in South Africa and there was a great vibe within the team and at the stadium, but we now need to turn our focus to next week because our goal is to win both matches against them,” said Du Toit.

“We made a lot of mistakes, and we must correct that going into the next match. We’ll have a good look at this match on Sunday and start working hard again on Monday, so we are ready for the next game.”

With the breakdowns indeed proving to be a massive battle in the match, Du Toit said it was one of the areas they had to improve on next week.

“That battle was big,” said Du Toit. “There were times that they had the upper hand in that area, so it’s definitely one of the areas we’ll focus on this week.”

Arendse, meanwhile, was delighted to contribute to the team as he scored a top-class try in the second minute – one of two tries the Boks scored to add to the penalty try in the 77th minute – but he emphasised that it required a full team effort to earn the win.

“It’s always nice to contribute to the team,” said Arendse. “Tony (Brown – Springbok attack coach) introduced few things to our attack and it worked.”

Arendse was also praised by the media for making a few telling tackles, but he said as a player one had to be able to attack and defend well to earn a spot in the team.

“My focus is not only on attack, I’ve also been focussing on my defence because you need to make a contribution in both departments if you want to be effective and play well. I don’t think we’ll be selected if we can’t do both,” said the speedster, who has now scored 14 tries in 16 Tests.

The Springboks will depart for Durban on Sunday and will begin their preparations on Monday for the second outing between the teams at Hollywoodbets Kings Park this coming Saturday.