For the first time, South Africa made it a clean sweep of visiting France in their Summer international series. Surprisingly, this was also the first time the Springboks have beaten Les Bleus at Ellis Park. With the Rugby Championship looming, it’s certainly the result Springbok fans will be excited about.
After two losses, France were looking for the win at a location that’s been extremely friendly to them in the past. Unfortunately, the hosts had other ideas, taking a quick 10-0 lead and never looking back, going on to secure a 35-12 win.
Tries came from Jesse Kriel, Malcolm Marx, Rudy Paige and Eben Etzebeth. Elton Jantjies added 20 more points with the boot.
Monster lock Etzebeth, captaining the side on the day, had a match for the ages, saying afterwards that the day had been the best of his life.
“Welcome to the best day of my life. The last 24 hours were unbelievable for me.” Etzebeth slotted in as skipper seamlessly, leading his men to victory and setting the tone going forward.
“We’ve done well against France because we had a lot of time to prepare with our pre-season camp. That time also allowed us to get to know one another as people and we became a closer group because of it.”
Several other Springboks stepped forward such as man-of-the-match centre Jan Serfontein.
All that France could manage was 12 points from the boot of Jules Plisson.
It seems that this Springbok team has been firmly dedicated to putting the dreadful 2016 campaign behind them. This has been reflected in both the play and electricity in the stands.
In a strange occurrence of scoring consistency, the Springboks won the first Test 37-14, the second 37-15, then this, the third, 35-12.
The Rugby Championship is shaping up to be more than just a one-horse race.