After a quieter than usual build-up to a Springbok game, the Boks came out gave quite a performance, shutting out the French in a dominating performance.
The Springboks, maybe taking some motivation from Bafana Bafana, were off to a flying start, scoring a try through Pierre Spies in the opening minutes of the game. This was followed up by a brilliant run in from Aplon to double the score after 8 minutes.
Zane Kirchner came within inches of a third try, with a great chip through from January, but lost it when a pass was maybe the better option. Notwithstanding the missed opportunity, the Boks got a penalty which Steyn duly converted for a 17 point lead in 11 minutes.
Francois Louw, playing his second game for the Springboks, had a great game, forcing a penalty, getting the Boks up the 20 points in only 24 minutes.
The French hit back on the half hour mark, Rougerie scoring after a good attacking platform. Scrummie Morgan Parra converted for a 20 – 7 scoreline. Guthro Steenkamp got in on the action, crossing the line with a big wing dive in the corner. The try was set up by a wonderful Steyn pass, skipping no less than three players to put Steenkamp in space. Steyn unfortunately missed the conversion.
The French had a good opportunity to score before half time, but the Boks held firm with some great defending. The French eventually had to surrender the try and went for poles, making the score 25 – 10 at half time.
The Bok scrum, boosted by a good performance from BJ Botha and a return to the team for Guthro, looked good, getting the loosies on the front foot. There was a half time surprise, with Chiliboy coming onto the filed to replace Smit. He made an immediate impact, forcing a turnover and defending like a man possessed. The scrum remained solid with him in the front.
Steyn opened the scoring in the second half with a penalty in the 47th minute, after which a great running try was scored by Aplon. The French were on attack, deep in our 22, when a long pass out wide went to ground. Aplon duly picked it up and ran across the pitch, scoring under the poles. No French player got within 5 meters of him. 35 – 10 after 10 minutes of the second half.
That seemed to be enough for the Springboks, with PDV clearing out his bench and giving Flip van der Merwe his first cap. Other substitutes were Jean de Villiers for Zane Kirchner, Juan de Jongh for Wynand Olivier, Jannie du Plessis for BJ Botha and Dewald Potgieter replacing Schalk Burger.
Flip’s debut was cut short when he was yellow carded for cynical play, which meant he was only on the pitch for about 10 minutes. The playing field was leveled not long after, with Yachvili also receiving his marching orders.
Francois Louw scored the team’s fifth try when he fell over the chalk in front of his home supporters, capping a very good performance by the young flanker. Pienaar converted to take the Springbok tally to 42 – 10.
The French rounded off the game with a try under the poles to make the final score 42-17.
Not many supporters were expecting this kind of white wash, with the French being a bogey team for the Springboks lately. The French never really recover from the explosive start by the Boks, and were never really in the game. The Boks had majority of the possession, which was helped by the Boks not losing a single line out, and taking 4 from the French.
Players who really stood out were BJ Botha, who vastly improved from his game against the Welsh, Francois Louw, Ricky January and Gio Aplon. The lesser impressive players were Wynand Olivier, who looked nervous and missed several tackles, and Zane Kirchner, who really looked under pressure at the back, unable to make that step from a good Super 14 campaign.Tweet