Ireland aim to make amends for "one that got away" against the Springboks

Eddie O'Sullivan looks ahead to the decisive third test against the Southern Hemisphere side

Ireland aim to make amends for "one that got away" against the Springboks

Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland 

Ireland's Test series against the Springboks is delicately poised. A historic win in their opening game was followed by a second half capitulation in the second and now they go into the final Test with the momentum behind the host nation.

There can be a lot of positives to take from the performances, as well as some of the negatives of last Saturday. 

Speaking on tonight's Off The Ball Eddie O'Sullivan shared some of his thoughts on how he thinks the series will finish and who has impressed thus far.

"They were in a winning position with 20 minutes to go and then the wheels came off pretty spectacularly," he said, " You know it's a long time since an Irish side gave up that sort of lead to lose a Test match.

"Joe Schmidt rolled the dice before the game with his selection and by making so many changes with the Test series on the line. If they could have won last weekend - and there's every chance they could have -  he could have probably gone with a similar XV that he had done before. It's very hard to get out of their heads that it's one that got away."

O'Sullivan says that the altitude isn't solely to blame in the defeat to South Africa last weekend.

"Let's be honest, not all the South African players live at altitude and play at altitude only some of them do. Now some of the guys coming off the bench would have been fresh and a lot of the benched guys do live at altitude. 

"But only three or four of the starting team live at altitude and we have people on the bench who could come off the bench fresh as well. So I think the altitude is a factor, but it's not the only factor.

"I think we stood off them and they won collision after collision. I think the intensity at which they played in the last quarter came from a fear as well. I think the fear of losing a Test series to Ireland in their own backyard is as much of a factor as anything.

"They played like their lives depended on it. I think it'll be more of the same in the final Test."

You can listen to tonight's full podcast by clicking below.