Boks make it 3/3 in Europe
The Springboks beat France 19-10 on Saturday evening for their first win in the country in 16 years.
CAPE TOWN - The Springboks beat France 19-10 in Paris on Saturday evening for their first win in the country in 16 years.
The Springboks had to work hard for the victory which was their third of the end of year tour and means the Boks end the year with 10 wins in their 12 games.
The Boks never seemed like scoring tries and relied on a lucky try from JP Pietersen in the opening minutes and the kicking boot of Morne Steyn and Pat Lambie for the win.
The Springboks got off the best possible start as they scored in the third minute when Pietersen charged down a French kick and scored from it. Steyn calmly slotted the conversion at his new home ground.
The pitch again caused problems for the forward packs as the early minutes of the game saw plenty of reset scrums. It was however not only the forwards that had their issues with the field. Morgan Parra had an opportunity in the 11th minute to open the French score sheet, but he slipped during the kick and missed the penalty.
Bakkies Botha made an appearance a lot earlier than expected as he replaced Eben Etzebeth in the 16th minute of the match. Etzebeth later made his way to the bench on crutches and it looked like he had picked up an ankle injury.
Both sides tried various tactical kicks early on in the game which were dealt with well by the receivers. One of Willie le Roux's kicks resulted in a scrum for the French in which the Boks destroyed the French pack. Wayne Barnes penalised France and Steyn converted the penalty to extend the Boks' lead to 10 points.
Minutes later it was Steyn, who added three more points to make it 13-0 just before the break, but in the 40th minute Yoann Huget went over in the corner for France' first points. Parra converted the try and the Boks went into the break 13-7 leaders.
This was the first try that the Springboks conceded on their end of year tour.
The Bok scrum continued to dominate in the second half and the Springboks forced a tighthead early on. Jean de Villiers hit a brilliant gap from the resulting ball and offloaded to Jacques Fourie who went over for a try, but Barnes wanted to check upstairs first. The TMO adjudged that the ball had been knocked on by Steyn on the way to De Villiers and the try wasn't allowed.
The TMO was again called on in the 52nd minute when Le Roux put a kick through and Francois Louw managed to score, but only after a French hand was already on the ball.
The first points in the second half came in the 60th minute of the match when the French were penalised for a late tackle on Steyn and he converted a long range kick.
A few minutes later France was reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes when Thomas Domingo made a tip tackle on Bryan Habana. With eight minutes to go in the game the Boks lost Francois Louw for the remainder of the game after he put his hand in the face of one of the French players. France converted the resulting penalty which made it a 6-point ball game.
Shortly after that Lourens Adriaanse made his Bok debut when he replaced Coenie Oosthuizen.
The match was going down to the final minutes, but with two minutes left on the clock the Boks were awarded a penalty which Lambie converted to secure the win.