Tour match, Clontarf: South Africa 294-8 (50 overs) beat Ireland 162 (37.5 overs) by 132 runs
South Africa's extra class proved too much for Ireland as they opened their tour with a comfortable victory.
Boeta Dippenaar, captain Graeme Smith and Jacques Rudolph posted half centuries as they set a daunting target.
Smith said afterwards, he was happy with his team's performance.
He said: "The batsmen all had a good time in the middle and showed some form and the bowlers were able to find good areas."
But he warned England will not be as easy.
He said: "We will have to keep working hard to in all areas.
"Today was OK, but when we get to England it's going to get a lot tougher."
The Irish made a promising start in reply as Jason Molins and Jonathan Bray put on 47, but three wickets for pace bowler Makhaya Ntini effectively ended the game as a contest.
Niall O'Brien top scored with 31 for the home side, but Andrew White (29) was the only tail-ender to survive for long and they were bowled out with more than 12 overs of their innings remaining.
South Africa were keen to give their batsmen some time in the middle and it was no surprise when Smith decided against putting Ireland in after winning the toss.
The home side were hoping for another slice of glory after thrashing Zimbabwe by 10 wickets in the first of two games last weekend, but knew they faced far stronger opposition this time.
Herschelle Gibbs was first to go for 33, caught off Andre Botha, but Smith progressed to 61 before he fell victim to spin bowler Andrew White.
Paul Mooney appeals unsuccessfully for Ireland
Dippenaar (76) and Rudolph (54) both looked in good nick as they shared a stand of 103.
The Irish fought back, however, as Gary Neely picked up the wickets of Martin van Jaarsveld (23), Shaun Pollock (16) and Alan Dawson over the closing overs to finish with 3-40.
Smith sprang a surprise by giving Dawson the new ball ahead of Ntini, and Pollock proved unusually expensive as his first six overs cost 31 runs.
The inroduction of Charl Langeveldt did the trick when he dismissed Molins for 27 and when Ntini ripped out Bray, Botha and Peter Gillespie, the home side were up against it.
O'Brien batted well before he was run out and left-arm spinner Paul Adams then took two wickets to hasten Ireland's decline.
Van Jaarsveld was given an opportunity to turn his arm over and it took him only 1.5 overs to account for White and Neely and seal the win.
Ireland: J A M Molins (Capt), J P Bray, A C Botha,
N J O'Brien (Wkt), P G Gillespie, W K McCallan, D Joyce, A R White, P J K Mooney, C M Armstrong, G J Neely.
South Africa: G C Smith (Capt), H H Gibbs, H H Dippenaar,
J A Rudolph, M V Boucher (Wkt), S M Pollock, C K Langeveldt,
M van Jaarsveld, A C Dawson, P R Adams, M Ntini.