Ireland 29 - 15 South Africa: Ireland defeat Springboks at the Aviva Stadium
Rhys Ruddock and Tommy Bowe plundered tries to guide stubborn Ireland to their first victory over South Africa in five years at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.
Joe Schmidt's side rebuffed their bullish visitors to triumph 29-15 and register their fifth consecutive win, Ireland's best run since 2009.
Leinster's 23-year-old flanker Ruddock, son of former Wales star Mike, seized his first Test try after replacing the ill Chris Henry just hours before kick-off.
Sexton's third penalty of the night proved only brief respite amid the Springbok onslaught, but a huge double hit from O'Mahony and O'Connell launched the Dublin crowd into full voice.
Replacement hooker Adriaan Strauss was sin-binned for taking out the airborne Rob Kearney, allowing Ireland to clear their lines.
Sexton's rapier punt into the corner then piled the pressure on South Africa, with number eight Duane Vermeulen forced to throw in.
Ireland stole possession and pounded through the phases, eventually forcing a penalty.
Sexton slotted the goal to push Ireland nine points ahead with 10 minutes to play.
And then they wrapped up a famous victory, wing Bowe latching onto Murray's pinpoint chip to claim the home side's second try of the night.
Sexton's smart break broke the first wave of Springbok resistance, allowing British and Irish Lions half-back Murray to tee up Bowe for the finish.
Schmidt's raft of substitutions signalled a happy Ireland camp, though Jared Payne hobbled off in clear discomfort.
Replacement Ian Madigan landed a penalty of his own, before JP Pietersen salvaged some pride with a late South Africa try.
Belfast Telegraph Digital