But since following that up with a win over Argentina, Ireland have entered a five-match losing streak and Bowe has issued Ireland with a rallying call urging them to repeat the victory of last year.
"South Africa's game is based on physicality and bullying the opposition," said Bowe.
"If we don't match that then we'll be sent back with our tails between our legs.
"The first 20 minutes of that first Test for the Lions was brutal. They came at us with an intensity that I'd never experienced before and I know they'll probably want to try and replicate that again.
"It's something that I've experienced and I know that after that 20 minutes where we were maybe shocked a little bit, we got back into the game.
"But we won't want to give them that 10 to 20 minutes of dominance like they had then. They start out of the blocks and it's very difficult to deal with but the only way to deal with it is to do the same thing.
"We're on our own pitch so we're going to be the ones who want to bring that intensity and we're not going to be waiting for South Africa to just run at us. It's up to us, on our own pitch at the Aviva Stadium, to take the game to them.
"We're a side who want to be getting back to winning ways with the World Cup looming. We want to get back to the style of play we had when we were beating the top teams in the world like this time last year.
"They have such a wealth of talent in South Africa, it's a religion for them. They've any amount of players coming through and I'd say no matter what injuries they have they'll still have a great squad. We don't really think about their injuries too much. I look at it as whatever side they're going to bring it's going to be a fairly physical, impressive team.
"We know what's at stake and we know they're on the back of a few losses so it's a great opportunity to get another good win against South Africa. The summer tour was obviously very disappointing but the players are well over that and we're looking forward to the next stage."