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Stander facing a hearing but Schmidt says red card was 'very, very harsh'

The Ireland head coach was proud of an ‘incredible collective effort’ from his side.

Rory Keane reports from Newlands Stadium

IRELAND COACH JOE Schmidt has hailed his side after their heroic 26-20 victory against South Africa at Newlands.

Ireland were reduced to 14 men in the 23rd minute when CJ Stander was sent off for a clumsy challenge on Boks out-half Pat Lambie, after he had kicked away possession.

Joe Schmidt celebrates with Rory Best after the match Schmidt embraces Ireland captain Rory Best. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Against the odds, not to mention losing Robbie Henshaw for 10 minutes late in the second half, the visitors secured their first-ever Test victory on Springboks soil.

“It’s pretty hard to put into words really,” said Schmidt in Newlands Stadium afterwards.

“I thought it was an incredibly collective effort. The nine minutes before half time when we were down to 13 players, to just put them out in the corner, just to scramble and work as hard as the players did to keep them out.

“There was almost a direct repeat at the end of the second half again to their attacking in the left-hand corner; we managed to scramble across and three or four players turned up to avoid the try being scored.”

Stander’s first-half dismissal could have been disastrous for this Irish side. Schmidt’s men were leading 10-3 before the incident, with a phenomenal defensive effort keeping a sloppy Boks side at bay.

The Munster back row’s lunge left the Sharks’ number 10 needing medical treatment on the pitch, before leaving on a stretcher. The severity of Lambie’s injury seemingly influenced French referee Mathieu Raynal’s decision to dismiss Stander.

“I thought the red card was very, very harsh to be honest,” said the Kiwi.

“CJ’s got both hands extended, once you’re in the air you can’t change your trajectory. The one thing I would say, I think Pat Lambie’s a super player, I certainly hope that Pat’s OK. I know CJ and Pat are friends, and that they know each other.

CJ Stander receives a red card from referee Mathieu Raynal Stander saw red in the first half. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“CJ was upset that Pat was hurt as much as he was upset that he had to leave the field. It’s one of those thing that happens. I think, sometimes, when there is an injury like that, the consequence is that a card comes out and that was the result.”

Following his red card, Stander is set to appear before a judicial hearing in the coming days, but Schmidt is hoping the powerful blindside will be available for the remainder of the series:

“We’re going to find out in the next couple of days what, if any, consequences there are from his attempted charge-down.

“So, we’d be delighted to get him back if that’s possible. If we don’t, this is a 32-man squad, there are 32 players working to try and be selected and it means somebody else will step up and fill the breach.”

Paddy Jackson, starting his first Test for Ireland since a World Cup warm-up against Wales back in August, delivered a superb performance at number 10.

In the absence of Johnny Sexton, Jackson’s 16-point haul, including a timely drop goal while his side were reduced to 13 men, spearheaded an historic victory. An intercept pass that gifted replacement lock Pieter-Steph Du Toit a late try was the only blot on his copybook.

“Paddy’s got high standards, the first thing he said to me was he apologised for the intercept pass for Pieter-Steph Du Toit,” added Schmidt.

Joe Schmidt with CJ Stander after the match Schmidt with Stander after Ireland's win. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“He didn’t realise how long that man’s arms were, how good his hands were and how athletic he was to get off the line, but Paddy did some super stuff. I thought he controlled that first 20 minutes, I thought he controlled really well. We actually built our confidence through that period.

“With some really good territorial play, we manged to earn possession and we manage to turn that possession into points. That certainly helped us get a little of confidence, we had a lot of players who haven’t had a lot of time with us and it tends to be that your leaders, they tend to have the kind of contagious, both in experience  and confidence, that you miss a bit when you don’t them.

“For guys like Paddy, who stepped up today, I thought they did a super job.”

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Red card be damned! Incredible Irish effort earns first-ever win in South Africa

VIDEO: Did CJ Stander deserve to see red for this incident against South Africa?

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