Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus says the France team of 2018 is significantly improved compared to the class of 2017.
The Boks emerged as 29-26 winners in Paris on Saturday thanks to a Bongi Mbonambi try four minutes after the hooter, but they were far from their best.
The French pack had dominated the Boks for much of the contest, and it was a stark reminder that there is still a long way to go for the Boks before they can be considered genuine title contenders at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Erasmus, though, says that the win needs to be put into perspective and that France are not the side they were in 2017.
That year, under the leadership of Allister Coetzee, the Boks beat France comfortably 3-0 at home before edging them by a single point on their end of year tour.
"You have to put every win in context," Erasmus said after Saturday's clash.
"Ireland came here and won with a drop goal in the last minute. This French team now is not the French team of last year, which was a pushover.
"This French team is physically up there, they've got a lot of depth and on the day we could have lost the match.
"Overall, to put it into perspective, between teams from 3 to 6 in the world there is not a lot. Today we were on the good side of this game, but it could have gone the other way."
The Boks now turn their attention to Scotland, who they face this Saturday.