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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 June, 2004, 17:17 GMT 18:17 UK
Coach proud of tired Irish
David Wallace of Ireland comes under pressure from South Africa at Newlands
South Africa beat Ireland 26-17 to clinch a 2-0 series win
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan admitted end-of-season tiredness had caught up with his side as they lost the second Test match to South Africa 26-17.

The Irish matched the Springboks with two tries but Percy Montgomery's accuracy with penalties was decisive.

"You could see we were at the end of a very long season and, although they gave everything, they needed a break and did not get it," said O'Sullivan.

"We had opportunities, but somehow we just did not finish."

O'Sullivan said the possibility of a global season should be considered to avoid teams at the end of a long season playing a side at the start of theirs.

It is better to play badly and win than play well and lose
SA coach Jake White

"If you look at the results of England, Scotland and us, it does look as if the idea should be looked at," said O'Sullivan.

"It is not for me to comment but I do not think a boxer after 12 rounds should fight another who has just had two rounds."

Ireland have played 15 Tests in an international season that started in July.

South Africa coach Jake White was happy to win the series 2-0 but was less pleased with his team's overall performance in Newlands.

"We were less effective in the scrums than last week," said White.

"Our inexperience showed at times, but it is better to play badly and win than play well and lose."

South Africa 31-17 Ireland
12 Jun 04  |  Internationals

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