As it happened: France v SA


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Commentary by Sport24's Herman Mostert

00:07 - PICTURE

Bakkies Botha proved his worth at the Stade de France... (AFP)

00:01 - SUMMARY

Well that wasn't a pretty win, but a win against France in France is always a good result. Morné Steyn proved how vital he is to South Africa's cause with his deadly goal-kicking and we did well in the scrums considering the torrid pitch they played on.

The lineouts were a shambles but the positives outweighed the negatives tonight. The Boks are taking most of their chances and they are clinical on attack .

A successful year and lots to look forward to for 2014!


Ruan Pienaar should be forgotten by SARU officials and coaching staff! He's too slow and makes elementary mistakes - Marni van Emmenis

Swak veld,swak Pienaar..lekke wen Bokke,successful rugby year(%) for us ,but win the AB's next year,give everybody a fair chance (Gio,De Jong,Kolisi),don't hang on to underperforming players(pienaar,JJ,Kirchner),cant understand HMeyer,he selected Screuder instead of Mcloud,but still call up Vermaak en promote him to the bank..lyk my hyt boerematriek,2maal in standard5 - Solly Solomon

Boks lack discipline - Mzimasi Fana

Jacques Fourie's try should have been allowed. Then those elbow hits and tip tackling.....I just wonder what would have happened if a Springbok did that - Carl Davis

Ref n tmo were s**t 2gether with pienaar - Thabang Edwin Makoloke

00:01 - Springboks under Heyneke Meyer:

Played - 24; Won - 17; Lost - 5; Drawn - 2; Winning percentage - 71%.

00:00 - A first win for South Africa in France since 1997!

23:59 - France can't get through and the ball is held up. That's FULL-TIME: France 10-19 South Africa

23:58 - A scrum penalty for France. They tap and go.

23:57 - They knock it on but there's only 10 seconds left...

23:57 - Boks playing pick-and-drive as they try to run the clock down...

23:56 - Lambie kicks the PENALTY. France 10-19 SA after 78 minutes. That should seal the deal!

23:55 - Boks win a penalty as France go off-side. Lambie will line up an easy penalty to kill off the game!

23:54 - Lambie kicks it out to set an attacking lineout inside the French 22m area, three minutes left.

23:53 - Bok lineout mis-fires again! But Strauss makes amends by winning a penalty on the ground, right on the halfway line.

23:53 - PICTURE

Sofiane Guitoune tackled by Bryan Habana and Willie le Roux (AFP).

23:52 - Frederic Michalak now also on at flyhalf for France, Tales is off.

23:52 - Siya Kolisi on, Bakkies off. Kolisi at flank and Du Toit moves to lock.

23:51 - TWEET

Stupid by Flo. Second yellow in as many weeks. Needs to up discipline. Had an amazing test otherwise. Sad to take shine off it like that... - Brenden Nel

23:50 - TEST DEBUT for Lourens Adriaanse as he replaces Coenie Oosthuizen at prop.

23:49 - Parra kicks the PENALTY. France 10-16 SA after 73 minutes. They have a sniff...

23:48 - YELLOW CARD for Francois Louw for putting his hand in the face of France lock Pascal Pape. Silly from Louw! Parra lines up a penalty from in front... Jeepers, no Test goes by without a Springbok sin-binned!

23:47 - Lambie now replaces Steyn at flyhalf for the Boks.

23:47 - France have taken off captain Thierry Dusautoir...

23:46 - Huget counter-attacks and nearly scores but the ball bounces kindly for South Africa...

23:45 - Penalty for the Boks! Bismarck got a yellow card for doing exactly that against the All Blacks in Auckland earlier this year!

23:44 - However, referee Barnes wants to see a replay of a France player using a stiff arm on Jaque Fourie.

23:44 - They win a penalty after Habana goes off his feet over the ball.

23:43 - France attacking on the Bok 22m line. Ten minutes left.

23:42 - PICTURE

Nice to see Bakkies Botha's romantic side... BlitzBokke.com on Twitter

23:41 - Pieter-Steph du Toit wins his second Test cap, replaces Willem Alberts at the side of the scrum.

23:40 - YELLOW CARD for French reserve prop Thomas Domingo for a tip-tackle on Habana.

23:37 - Adriaan Strauss has replaced Bismarck du Plessis at hooker.

23:37 - TWEET

Boks just too physical for the French. Bok scrum has been very good. Take a bow Coenie. Take a bow Pieter de Villiers - Mark Keohane

23:36 - Steyn lines up a drop kick, but misses a few metres to the left... France 7-16 SA after 65 minutes.

23:35 - Prop Gurthrö Steenkamp now on for The Beast as Boks attack close to the French 22m line...

23:33 - TWEET

Pienaar has his box kick charged down, someone get this lad off of the pitch - Rugga World

23:32 - PICTURE

Jean de Villiers runs into Florian Fritz (AFP).

23:29 - Boks get lucky when the French knock on as Pienaar's kick is charged down. Please take Pienaar off Heyneke! Commentator Bob Skinstad queries whether that was a lack of intelligence from the scrumhalf... 

23:29 - Steyn kicks the PENALTY. My word what a strike. France 7-16 South Africa after 59 minutes.

23:28 - Boks get a penalty just inside the French half when the hosts go off-side. Steyn will line up from about 45m out...

23:24 - France win a penalty just inside their own half when Le Roux is caught holding on. A nasty cut sees him being replaced by Patrick Lambie. Only a blood replacement though.

23:22 - TWEET

Critical mistake by Ruan. Critical. No excuse for that - Brenden Nel

23:21 - Chances slipping away for South Africa...

23:20 - Oh no, France get a free-kick after Pienaar puts the ball in too quickly. Referee Barnes now makes it a long-arm penalty as it's the second time Pienaar has done this.

23:19 - French wing Huget may have got a hand to it first it appears. Yes, no try but the Boks get a five-metre attacking scrum. This time the TMO made the right call!

23:18 - Try? Francois Louw dives on the ball in the corner after Le Roux puts a little kick through. TMO in spotlight again. 

23:17 - But Bakkies steals the lineout. Another chance to attack...

23:16 - A promising Bok backline move ends when Habana is tackled out just before the French 22m line.

23:13 - Relief for the Boks as they force a penalty inside their 22m area. Francois Louw again brilliant on the ground. That halts some French momentum.

23:12 - France give the Boks some of their own medicine and get a penalty when a driving maul is collapsed.  Tales kicks it deep into Bok territory.

23:10 - France get a penalty from the scrum and are off the hook...

23:09 - TWEETS

The worst TMO call ever in the history of the game . This beautiful game is being ruined and destroyed - David van der Sandt

Shocking TMO call ... that was a Bok try - Mark Keohane

23:07 - What!? The TMO decides it was a knock on. Yet another blunder from a TMO. The standard of TMOs in Test rugby is simply diabolical! Boks robbed of a try there!

23:05 - The Boks get a tighthead and a break from De Villiers sees Jaque Fourie run through to score! The TMO must decide on a knock-on from Steyn though... looks like it went backwards from Steyn to his captain. The try should stand!

23:04 - But good French defence forces Ruan Pienaar to knock it on... He was caught in possession there.

23:03 - Immediate attacking chance for the Boks as Parra fails to get a long clearance... Bok lineout on the French 22m line.

23:03 - Steyn gets the second half underway...

23:01 - Welcome back for the second half. Lets hope that last try wasn't a momentum-changer...


Speed it up and keep them playing from their own half - Jeremy Adam Walt

Da french will cum back n hit dem hard,final score France21-19Rokke - Reginald Ngcangca

France try was "Slow Pienaar "(Ruaan).Mistake!!!!!!!!!!!! HM wake up and drop Pienaar!!!!!!! - Derick Homan

Jano vermaak nids a game or 2 prove he is worth it - Tshepiso Ignatious

Ruan, weet slaap hy of is hy net stadig om die bal in game te kry - Riaan Van Rensburg

22:56 - TWEET

Taken 200min on tour for #Springboks to concede first try - Craig Ray

22:54 - PICTURE

 Yoann Huget scores... (AFP)

22:49 - But it was nevertheless a good half by South Africa and if they just remain calm, they should still win the game.

22:48 - That was silly from the Springboks for allowing the ball to just pop out the ruck after they caught the restart. The hosts now have their tails up!

22:47 - Parra CONVERTS from the touchline and that's HALF-TIME: France 7-13 South Africa.

22:46 - TRY awarded. Critical score just before the break. This could swing the game completely!

22:45 - This will be touch and go. Huget's knee looked to have touched the chalk, but did he score beforehand...?

22:43 - Oh no, France wing Yoann Huget dives over in the corner after South Africa fail to control the ball at a ruck. The TMO will decide if the ball emerged legally and if the try was scored.

22:43 - PICTURE

Morné Steyn has again showed how vital he is to South Africa's cause (AFP).

22:42 - Steyn coolly slots the PENALTY. France 0-13 SA after 38 minutes.

22:41 - A dominant driving maul and South Africa receive a penalty as France collapse it. Steyn lines up from about 15m from touch...

22:40 -  A brilliant penalty from Steyn takes SA all the way up to the French 22m line. Four minutes before half-time.

22:39 - Great Springbok defence driving France backwards! Duane Vermeulen wins a penalty on the ground and brings relief...

22:36 - Jean de Villiers almost intercepts the ball but drops it. He would have been under the posts, but at least halted the French momentum there...

22:35 - But France now attack ferociously inside the Bok 22m area.

22:37 - TWEET

What a joke of a call for the penalty there... - Brenden Nel

22:35 - The assistant referee steps in and penalises Bismarck du Plessis for a late tackle. Ridiculous call says commentator Bob Skinstad.

22:32 - Coenie Oosthuizen take a bow. He wins a penalty on the ground as France hold on too long. Good scrum just now by the Free Stater and now he gets the Boks out of their own 22m area...

22:31 - Etzebeth is definitely off for good as he is seen with a cast around his ankle...

22:30 - Wonderful PENALTY kick from Steyn. France 0-10 SA after 27 minutes.

22:29 - The Boks win a penalty at a scrum and Steyn will line up from close to the touchline. Brilliant scrum from SA and Bakkies blows a kiss to his opponents afterwards...lol.

22:26 - Willie le Roux breaks blindside but his pass to Habana goes astray. He should have held onto it a bit longer...!

22:25 - France steal the ball after the Boks attempt a driving maul. Tales clears well and gets the hosts outside their 22m area.

22:22 - Boks come out on top after an aerial ding-dong battle. Wille le Roux puts a clever kick in behind and France are forced to kick it out. SA get a lineout just inside the France 22m area... Time to attack.

22:21 - TWEET

Some huge hits by the Boks, wonderful to watch! - Jacques van der Westhuyzen

22:20 - But the Boks stuff it up by losing the lineout...

22:19 - SA get a lineout just outside the France 22m area after the French spill a few passes...

22:18 - Eben Etzebeth has been replaced by Bakkies Botha. Not sure why yet...

22:18 - So far France have the lion's share of the possession and territory but they've not created much...

22:15 - Jeepers, this surface is looking bad after every scrum. What's up with the pitches up north?

22:14 - Willie le Roux drops his first up-and-under but the Boks get out of jail as France knock it on in the middle of SA territory.

22:13 - Oh dear, can you believe it. Parra misses from in front! He slipped on the surface there...

22:11 - A concerted period of attack sees France get a penalty after Francois Louw is penalised for slowing the ball down. Easy three points coming up...

22:12 - TWEET

Pitches in the NH are a disgrace!  - Craig Ray

22:08 - Trouble in the scum as it keeps collapsing...The pitch also seems to be a problem. Such a shame. Props can't get grip! Big scrum from the hosts though who now attack close to the 22m line.

22:07 - Oh no, free kick to France from the first scrum. They opt to take another scrum.

22:05 - France win the first lineout inside the SA half. They attack close to the 22m area but lose the ball as the Boks hold them up... First scrum coming up...

22:04 - Steyn CONVERTS from close to the touchline. France 0-7 SA after 2 minutes. That should knock the stuffing right out of the temperamental French.

22:03 - PICTURE

JP Pietersen scores... (Getty Images)

22:03 - TRY!!! JP Pietersen scores as he charges down a kick from France scrumhalf Morgan Parra. Morné Steyn failed to find touch but Pietersen was brilliant in following up... Brilliant opportunism.

22:02 - Ruan Pienaar fails to find touch, but the Boks get a penalty as France go off-side...

22:01 - France flyhalf Remi Tales gets play underway...

22:00 - "La Marseillaise" also a great tune...

21:59 - A much better rendition of the SA anthem. Much better than Ras Dumisani's effort in Toulouse in 2009...

21:56 - The Boks appear on the field fully clad in their tracksuits. All set for the national anthems now...

21:52 - The teams are about to appear on to the Stade de France pitch. It's a crisp, cold but clear evening in Paris. Last time South Africa played at this ground they won the Rugby World Cup final 15-6 against England in 2007. We have never beaten France at the Stade de France though.

21:46 - PICTURE

Stade de France filling up. Boks warming up. Weather good. This is going to be awesome!! - Tinus le Roux on Twitter

21:44 - QUOTE

"It's going to be tight, but I can't see us losing," says in-studio SuperSport commentator Naas Botha.

21:36 - PICTURE

Bok coach Heyneke Meyer soaks up the atmosphere pre-game... (AFP)

21:26 - So what French team will pitch up tonight? It they play like they played against New Zealand a fortnight ago the Springboks could be in trouble. Despite losing 26-19, France dominated in the scrums and were unlucky not to get a penalty try late in the game when the All Blacks constantly collapsed the scrum close to their own tryline. Coenie Oosthuizen will get a real baptism of fire when he starts his first Test at tighthead. If he plays well and passes the test then the Boks will go a long way to winning I reckon. Also expect a big game from Bok loosies Francois Louw, Willem Alberts and Duane Vermeulen...

21:22 - PICTURE

Afrikaans commentators Toks van der Linde and Hennie Koortzen getting ready for the big game... (@toksvdl - Twitter)


The Springbok starting team boasts a total of 695 Test caps (447 in the backline and 248 in the forwards), while there are a further 201 caps worth of experience on the bench. The 447 caps in the backline equals the record that was set against Wales earlier this month.


Most points – 34 (2c, 5p, 5dg) by Jannie de Beer

Most tries – two by JP Pietersen against England and by Bryan Habana against Argentina.  

Most conversions – four by Percy Montgomery

Most penalty goals – five by Jannie de Beer

Most drop goals – five by Jannie de Beer


The Springboks will beat France by 7 points in Edinburgh, if local bookmakers are to be believed...


2010: South Africa won 42-17, Cape Town
2009: France won 20-13, Toulouse
2006: France won 36-26, Cape Town
2005: France won 26-20, Paris
2005: South Africa won 27-13, Port Elizabeth
2005: France and South Africa drew 30-30, Durban
2002: France won 30-10, Marseilles  
2001: France won 20-10, Paris  
2001: South Africa won 20-15, Durban  
2001: France won 32-23, Johannesburg

10:46 - REFEREE

Today's referee is Wayne Barnes of England. This will be his ninth Test involving South Africa. The Springboks have won five and lost three. The last game was on November 10, 2012 on the end of year tour against Ireland, which the Springboks won 16-12.

Barnes will be assisted by Glen Jackson (New Zealand) and Leighton Hodges (Wales). Scotland's Iain Ramage is the TMO.




15 Brice Dulin, 14 Sofiane Guitoune, 13 Florian Fritz, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Remi Tales, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Wenceslas Lauret, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Yoann Maestri, 4 Pascal Pape, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Yannick Forestier.

Substitutes: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Thomas Domingo, 18 Rabah Slimani, 19 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 20 Yannick Nyanga, 21 Jean-Marc Doussain, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Mathieu Bastareaud

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux: 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain) 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Willem Alberts, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Flip van der Merwe, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 21 Siya Kolisi 22 Jano Vermaak, 23 Patrick Lambie

16:00 - Welcome to Sport24's LIVE interactive commentary on today's Test match between France and the Springboks from the Stade de France in Paris.

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