Between plot twists, bomb squads and countdowns, Ireland's win over South Africa was always going to be a thriller and Jack Crowley was there when the credits rolled.

The Boks bench was filled almost to the brim with forwards but the famed 'bomb squad’ failed to detonate. Instead it was the Irish replacements who stole the show.

Like a staple from an old Bond movie, there was a close call when Jack Crowley stopped the shot-clock timer with just over two seconds left.

As if Irish fans hadn’t gone through enough for Mack Hansen’s try when the brilliant winger almost cut the white wire instead of the green, there were more hearts skipping a few beats as the replacement out-half tried to squeeze every last moment out of the allotted 60 seconds for a shot at goal.

The clock was at 75.30 when referee Ben O'Keeffe award the penalty for a South Africa scrum infringement.

The team has a minute from when they tell the ref their decision to take the kick.

Did he realise that he was cutting it that close?

"Yeah I’m not sure who was standing to my right. It might have been James Lowe but I know it sometimes looks – I don’t know what the word is – it’s precious time and he was counting it down for me," said the 23-year-old Munster man.

Libbok restarted at 77.13 and Andy Farrell’s men had two minutes and 47 seconds to survive.

Ireland took the kick but a penalty concession in midfield gave the Boks one last chance, which they didn't take.

"At that stage you’ve got to be closing out the game," added Crowley, who replaced Johnny Sexton with seven minutes left.

"You can’t be giving them an opportunity because they will take it.

"You saw that when they kicked to the corner for the maul that they had so, the shot clock up in the corner you are watching it and it got to 10 and I said you’re going to have to find who it was to my right, counting it down, it was precious time."

Crowley’s three points meant that a kick was no use to the world champions, they needed a try. The margin made the difference.

"Ah yeah, pretty special," he replied when it was put to him that it was the winning of the Pool B match.

"I think when you are sitting on the bench here looking up at the clock and looking at the time, slowly as the time is dwindling away you see the magnitude grow larger.

"We all know the credit South Africa deserve for making that challenge. It was a proper Test match. The physicality was through the walls.

"Just when you are coming on you’ve got to know the magnitude of the game and the responsibility.

"But I think I got a fairly easy one in front of the posts so, if I’d missed that I think ye’d be saying a different story to me.

"Look, you are delighted to get a result in the end for the lads who put in a shift throughout the whole game."

Ireland are in pole position to top Pool B, with South Africa likely to join them in the knock-out stages.

"They are a World Cup-winning side because they disrupt team’s plans," said Crowley of the Springboks.

"They play the way they want to play and that’s how they won the World Cup just by doing that.

"We knew I suppose form playing them in November last year just what a challenge this was going to be. It was not going to be easy.

"We had our eyes on this that it was going to be a serious challenge. You’ve got to trust your plan.

"As coach staff and players we all bought into it and thankfully in the end we got the result and it’s not easy. I’m sure we won’t see the last of them in the competition."

The Ireland squad is now on a mini break and Disneyland Paris is on the itinerary for some members. After that it’s another date at the Stade de France, this time against a Six Nations rival.

"We go back in on Wednesday and the preparation begins for Scotland," said the Bandon man.

"I suppose they are going to grow throughout the competition.

"We have come up against them in the Six Nations and they have been one the toughest competitors you come up against because of the way they play as week, so the game plan again is something that is going to be different compared to today so our eyes are firmly on them.

"Recovering this week, preparation is massive, Wednesday to Sunday and then back into the game week. I’m sure they will be gunning for."

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