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Trimble: We'll come out fighting and weather the Boks backlash

by Jonathan Bradley

Ireland's squad spent yesterday's down day seeing the local wildlife of South Africa up close, but it is the Springboks they expect to show their teeth come Saturday.

Allister Coetzee will name his side for the second Test this afternoon with the locals restless after seeing Ireland secure their first ever win on South African soil just five days ago.

As the series moves to Johannesburg, Andrew Trimble is sure the hosts will be far less accommodating this weekend than they were when up against 14, and even 13, men in Cape Town.

"They'll look back at the performance and I'm sure highlight a few areas to improve on," said the Ulster winger who was forced to lend a hand in the scrum after CJ Stander's early red card.

"Certainly that'll be the case and we can expect a massive backlash. "There is a little bit of a fear factor with South Africa if they put everything together and get their stuff right, physically you can be in trouble.

"We can expect that this weekend. We'll raise our performance to a level that's going to be expected to get a result."

Having had to reach deep within themselves once already on this tour however, Trimble is sure he and his team-mates can repeat the feat.

"When we went down to 14 men we knew we had to dig deep. We didn't realise how big a performance we were going to turn out. We were very, very proud of ourselves and enjoyed the celebrations over the weekend because we knew how special it was and the history we made.

"We're back to porridge and back to training hard to make sure we can put everything into trying to do it again."

Rhys Ruddock, who could be the man chosen to replace the banned Stander when Joe Schmidt reveals his team this lunchtime, echoed Trimble's respect for the South African side while also stating that Ireland themselves can improve on the showing from their famous Newlands performance.

"The first thing we did when we got to Jo'burg was to review the game and although there were a lot of positives, there were also a lot of things to work on," said the Leinster flanker.

"That was the key message going into the start of the week - that there's still another sort of 10 or 15 per cent that we can develop early in this week into a good performance on the weekend.

"The other message is that we know we're at our best when we're a little bit fearful of what the team we're going to be facing is about and what they're capable of, and that's why it's no different this week.

"We know that South Africa are probably better than they were last week and we know they're a difficult team to beat.

"With 15 men on the field hopefully we can really stick to our plan and be even more effective in defence.

"All the focus is going to be on preparing ourselves to the best of our ability, having a clear plan going into the game and being able to execute under the pressure that we're going to feel on Saturday."

One aspect of that preparation will be the altitude at Ellis Park with Trimble admitting playing so high above sea level produces something of an unknown.

"I've never played at altitude before so I don't really know what to expect.

"A little bit of altitude is just another big ask and hopefully we can dig deep again and produce another big performance."

South Africa - Ireland

Second Test: Ellis Park, Saturday, 5.00pm

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