Mack Hansen scores Ireland's try in their 13-8 win over South Africa ©Getty Images

World number one side Ireland overpowered holders South Africa to win one of the most eagerly-anticipated matches of the pool phase of Rugby World Cup 2023.

In a match that lived up to its billing, Ireland triumphed 13-8 in a physical encounter at the Stade de France in Paris as they took control of Pool B.

After going behind to an early South African penalty, Ireland took the lead when a break from Bundee Aki gave them prime position, with the pressure telling as Mack Hansen scored the first try.

Ireland led 7-3 at the break, but the Springboks edged in front again after the restart as a long pass from Manie Libbok put Cheslin Kolbe in for a try.

The lead changed hands once more as a Johnny Sexton put Ireland back in front 10-8, with a late penalty from Jack Crowley sealing a big win for the Irish as they seek a first Rugby World Cup crown.

The Springboks were left to reflect on missed penalties from Libbok and Faf de Klerk but are still well-placed to qualify from Pool B, four points behind Ireland who lead with 14.

There was also a dramatic climax to the day’s game in Pool C as Portugal and Georgia drew 18-18 at Stadium de Toulouse.

Georgia opened the scoring in the second minute with an early try from the country’s record try-scorer Akaki Tabutsadze.

A conversion and two penalties from Tedo Abzhandadze put Georgia into what seemed a commanding position at 13-0.

Raffaele Storti scored a brace of tries for Portugal in their 18-18 draw with Georgia ©Getty Images
Raffaele Storti scored a brace of tries for Portugal in their 18-18 draw with Georgia ©Getty Images

Raffaele Storti scored a try to cut the gap to 13-5 just before the break, and Portugal took the lead for the first time when Storti scored a second try.

Late Georgian pressure paid off when Tengizi Zamtaradze drove over, with the try awarded by the television match official.

This levelled the scores, with Luka Matkava missing his conversion from out wide as Georgia spurned a chance to go ahead.

Portugal were then given a golden chance to secure their first ever Rugby World Cup win after being awarded a penalty, with what was to be the final kick of the match.

Os Lobos full-back Nuno Sousa Guedes struck his kick from range wide to leave the spoils shared, and both teams sitting on two points in the pool and facing an uphill battle to qualify for the knockout phase.

In the other game of the day in Pool D England romped to a comprehensive 71-0 win over Chile at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille.

Winger Henry Arundell was the star of the show for England running in five tries, while Marcus Smith scored a brace, including an eye-catching kick-and-collect score.

Theo Dan also scored twice, while other tries went to Bevan Rodd and Jack Willis, as England secured a third straight win to give themselves a nine-point lead at the top of the pool.

The third round of pool matches is scheduled to conclude tomorrow with two fixtures, as Scotland face Tonga in Pool B, with both teams looking to earn their first points of the tournament, and Wales facing Australia in Pool C.