'That's for Dad' - Man of the match Devin Toner's classy tribute

The Ireland lock was immense in a historic win in Cape Town.

“CAN I JUST say, that’s for Dad.”

A moment of class from Devin Toner as he accepted his man-of-the-match award from host broadcaster SuperSport after Ireland’s historic 26-20 win over South Africa in Cape Town.

The Leinster lock missed out on the Pro12 final after the passing of his father but returned to the pitch with Ireland this evening and paid him a massive tribute.

Paddy Jackson celebrates after the match with Devin Toner Toner with Ireland out-half Paddy Jackson. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Toner was immense in the second row for Ireland alongside his partner in crime Iain Henderson, with the locking pair a constant thorn in South Africa’s side.

They choke tackled, hammered rucks, carried aggressively and generally laid down a huge physical marker for Ireland.

29-year-old Toner has been a key figure under Schmidt at both Leinster and Ireland for some years now, with this latest performance showing exactly why. He was part of a stunning response to the loss of CJ Stander to a first-half red card.

Yeah, really proud of everyone to be honest,” said Toner afterwards. “I suppose what happened in the first 20 minutes, going down to 14 men and going down to 13 men, I think we really needed to dig deep.

“We know the Boks are an awesome side. They’re a strong side, a big side, so we really needed to knuckle down and thankfully we did that.”

Ireland’s defence was vital to the victory, particularly as Ireland spent 10 minutes with only 13 players on the pitch after Robbie Henshaw was yellow carded.

Tadgh Furlong celebrates with Devin Toner after the match Toner embraces Tadhg Furlong after the win. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Toner pointed to the good work of defence coach Andy Farrell since joining the Ireland set-up in April, while also commending the efforts of the rest of the coaching staff.

“We did a lot of homework going into it and I thought our coaches put a huge amount of work into it,” said the lock. “We put a lot of work into our D.

I think Faz coming in has added a new dimension to our D. We’re getting off the line, we’re trying to put hits in and thankfully it came off today.

“The amount of homework we did came through.”

Toner and Ireland now turn their attention to a potential series victory.

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Murray Kinsella

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