The game: 30-26
The French staff wanted to see what their team was capable of: they saw! A shaken team, deprived of its captain on a red card and trailing by four points in the score, which went deep within to find enough mental, physical and tactical resources to win with forceps, at the finish, everything that you want, but win against the world champions with a try from Falatea (74th), in force, crowned with a goal from Ramors (79th), author of a 7/8 on foot.
On the blue side, it all started for the best with two goals from Thomas Ramos (3rd, 18th), a numerical superiority (red card against Du Toit, 12th) and a strong try from Cyril Baille (21st). France then led 13-0. She hadn’t touched the ball much but had been pragmatic and efficient. It was then that everything started to go wrong. At seven against eight, the bok pack shoved its counterpart on a carried ball and captain Kolisi escaped, cunning, flush with the maul for despite being unopposed (30th, 13-10).
From there, the score changed but France never took a lead of more than six points (46th, 19-13) and when Antoine Dupont, also sanctioned with a red card (48th) was expelled, the Sud- Africans, who were already dominating, began to walk on this XV of France suddenly deprived of its strategist. Faithful to their culture of frontal challenge, the Springboks sank into the blue defense and ended up scoring in a corner by Arendse (51st). A remarkable substitute scorer, Cheslin Kolbe added a difficult transformation that allowed his team to take the lead in the score for the first time in this game (19-20).
In replacement of Kolbe, who did not return to the field after his concussion, Faf de Klerk (45th) then Willemse (64th, 22-26) each added a penalty goal and the XV of France found themselves obliged to score at least one try to win, which he was able to do. If against Australia, an individual exploit came to free him, there it was a collective action around a penalty touch, a carried ball then a pick and go… See you in Toulouse, Sunday November 20 (2 p.m.), against Japan for the third and final round of these autumn tests.
The record number of consecutive successes of this XV of France, since November 6, 2021.
The turning point: one red after another
In the 12th minute, the three-quarter international Rochelais center Jonathan Danty received a header in the face while he was on the ground in a regrouping. The South African wing third line Pieter-Steph du Toit, author of this inexcusable gesture, was sanctioned with a red card. Jonathan Danty will come out a few minutes later, victim of an orbital floor fracture.
Then at the start of the second period, for a dangerous action on Cheslin Kolbe (48th), Antoine Dupont also received a red card (48th). Three minutes later, South Africa took control of this match for the first time (19-20). Before losing them in the 74th.
The fact: a string of concussions
Between the 12th and 32nd minute, the players lined up in front of the Velodrome infirmary. Indeed, Jonathan Danty (12th), Uini Atonio (29th), Mbonambi (29th) and Thibaud Flament (32nd) left the field, victim of concussions. Then it was the turn of Cheslin Kolbe (48th)…
This first French success over South Africa since November 13, 2010 puts an end to a series of seven defeats against this same opponent.