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Ireland coach Schmidt fears potential backlash from Boks

Rugby Union - Ireland v Scotland - RBS Six Nations Championship 2016 - Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland - 19/3/16 Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt Action Images via Reuters / Clodagh Kilcoyne
Rugby Union - Ireland v Scotland - RBS Six Nations Championship 2016 - Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Republic of Ireland - 19/3/16Ireland head coach Joe SchmidtAction Images via Reuters / Clodagh Kilcoyne

By Mark Gleeson

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ireland coach Joe Schmidt fears a potential backlash from South Africa in the second test in Johannesburg this weekend after a historic win for his team in Saturday's first test.

"I do think it looked like a first performance together for them," said Schmidt of an error-ridden display from the Springboks, who were playing their first international since finishing third at last year's Rugby World Cup in England.

"Probably, the fear I do have is I have no doubt that they'll be improved in Johannesburg."

Ireland won away in South Africa for the first time as they put up a gritty showing to forge a famous 26-20 victory at Newlands despite being down to 14 men for all but 20 minutes of the game.

"We're incredibly excited by the little bit of history, the small step we took but there's still two incredible large steps to take, one of them at altitude that will be very tough,"Schmidt added.

Saturday's second test is in the thin air at Ellis Park, 1,810 metres above sea level. The third test is back down on the coast in Port Elizabeth on June 25.

A disappointed South Africa coach Allister Coetzee ordered his players to go and "fix it" after a litany of mistakes cost them dearly.

"They probably let us off the hook a couple of times," Schmidt said.

"As much effort as we put into the game, there was a little bit of inaccuracy sometimes from the Springboks, a couple of dropped balls when they really had us starting to go backwards defensively."

Schmidt also said he might be tempted to change his team selection and use the opportunity to offer players valuable international experience.

"We'll make a decision on that later in the week," he added.

(Editing by Ian Chadband)

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