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Ireland captain Rory Best believes that second half errors cost Ireland the chance to seal a series victory over South Africa in Johannesburg yesterday.
Ireland, bidding to become the first home nations side to win a test series in South Africa, surrendered a 16-point lead in the final quarter at Ellis Park before going down 32-26 to a resurgent South Africa.
The result means that next weekend's third test in Port Elizabeth will decide the series, with Best left to rue what might have been as the Spingboks ran in four tries in the second half.
"We put ourselves in a great position to win the game and the series, but we'll look back on a lot of mistakes in the second half," the Ulster hooker said.
"We gave South Africa momentum and they showed the quality side they are.
"We were very physical for the first 50 or 60 minutes and did everything we had talked about doing.
"We are disappointed with the result but will take a few positives. It's 1-1 in the series and we'll back ourselves to go to Port Elizabeth and try to get the win. It will be another really tough Test match."
Coach Joe Schmidt also pointed to critical errors as proving costly, including both missed tackles and missed penalties.
"We missed tackles and were unlucky at times, but the result was well and truly earned by the South African ball carriers," he said.
"We just missed penalties before and after half-time which could have kept our confidence levels up and maybe delivered a little bit more of a blow to the South Africans."
By: Kieran O'Daly