Captain Paul O’Connell hailed a “massive” victory for Ireland after they claimed the prized scalp of South Africa – but he also admitted there were plenty of things his side need to improve on.
Ireland achieved their first win over the Springboks in five years after tries from Rhys Ruddock and Tommy Bowe helped them to a 29-15 triumph at the Aviva Stadium.
British and Irish Lion veteran O’Connell admitted the win was one of the best of his career, but also acknowledged it was a far from perfect performance from the reigning Six Nations champions.
He told Sky Sports 2: “It’s right up there (in my career), it’s a very important win for us. We made a lot of mistakes out there but I think we were clever at times as well, we scored two very good tries.
“It’s a massive win, but I suppose that’s all it is, a Test win.
“To get it against one of the big southern hemisphere teams is massive for us, we spoke before the autumn that we’d like to beat one of the southern hemisphere teams and to get that done today was brilliant.”
Looking ahead, the 35-year-old lock added: “We speak all the time about being able to improve week on week, month on month, campaign on campaign and I think unfortunately when we look back on that there will be a lot of things to improve on; the scrum, lineout....
“There’s a lot of things to improve on and that’s what we’ll try to do.”