Earlier this week Springbok captain John Smit lamented the slow start in the test against Wales and called for his charges to start well against the French or face adding another a fourth loss against Les Blues.The Springboks heeded the call from their skipper and scored an emphatic 42-17 win over the French at Newlands on Saturday.
46 885 people streamed into Newlands on Saturday to bear witness to what was billed to be a cracker of a test match between the reigning Tri nations and Six nations champions, what they saw was a Bok team dominate their french counterparts from the first whistle to the last.
The French kicked off proceedings and Morne Steyn cleared the ball from inside the Bok 22 and from the ensuing lineout the French tried to swing the ball wide but a pass got mishandled and Bryan Habana swooped on a looseball made good ground before offloading to Jacque Fourie who was so confident in his ability that he put on a juggling act in front of the french section of the crowd before offloading to Pierre Spies who darted untouched before diving under the posts.
The next passage of play saw the the teams feel each other out but the Bok were getting the mental edge by disrupting 2 french lineouts only to lose the stolen posession due to bad handling.
The Boks then unpacked their vaunted rolling maul, the rolling maul which was just this week described Jed Thian as : porn for the rugby purist ” and maul their way at least 35m upfield before finally being forced into touch.The Boks were not to be denied though as they ran a set move from a lineout which saw 75kg Gio Aplon show both good physicality and outstanding acceleration as he bumped off the tackle of Maxime Mermoz and then beat the cover defence to score his maiden test try.
France then tried to turn up their attack and on two occasions threatened to do something but were unable to finish off any attacks.Danie Rossouw gave his opposite number a bit of a welcome to Cape Town with hard less than legal hit just to let the Frogs know that the test in Toulouse was a long time ago, what was concerning though was that the Boks were struggling the scrums with BJ Botha being given a bit of a torrid time by the opposite loosehead.A front row of Botha Smit and Steenkamp was expected to handle any onslaught but this was not the case.
Just before the half time Rougerie had a clean run in to score in the corner for the french, what was concerning was seeing John Smit make no attempt to try get to the initial runner and mutterings around the media area about an injury to the skipper as he is never short of commitment.A few minutes later that same try was cancelled out when loosehead wing Guthro Steenkamp crossed the Newlands chalk with a beautiful dive.
After half time Chilliboy Ralapelle started what would probably be his longest spot of play in a Bok jeersey ever, and as it turned out also his best.The scrums seemed to settle with him in the middle of the front row.
The French seemed to find some their hands and rythem and were mounting a promising attack on the Bok goalline , with a clear numbers advantage the ball was mishandle by a french player which was then swooped on by Gio Aplon who showed a clean pair of heels by running the length of the field to complete his brace, the try was also almost a carbon copy of his first senior WP try.
With the match completely over as a contest Peter De Villiers emptied his bench over the next few minutes giving Bulls Lock Flip Vd Merwe his first Bok cap, Flip scoped the scene for a few minutes and decided to get himself yellow carded for a proffesional foul.
In the 75th minute Francois Louw scored a try from a Bok rolling maul off a lineout, it was the flankers first try and he dotted down on his home turf under a stand named after his grandfather, if that does not qualify as a fairytale than I really don’t know what does.
Marc Andreu managed to score a late consolation try for the Les Blues but neither he nor any of the french fans seemed to take much joy out of it, they were on the receiving end of a massive hiding from the Springboks, a hiding that could have been a bit bigger as Bryan Habana had the opportunity to take a quick tap near the French line on the hooter but decided that in the spirit of ayobaness to kick the ball out and end the carnage.
Final score 42-17 to BoksTweet