South Africa 35-12 France: Springboks end Ellis Park France jinx with win and series whitewash
Last Updated: 24/06/17 7:54pm
South Africa ground out a 35-12 victory on Saturday to beat France at Ellis Park in Johannesburg for the first time and complete a 3-0 Test series whitewash.
Les Bleus, who won the four previous clashes with the Springboks at the ground, fell behind after six minutes and never looked likely to snap a losing streak on this tour.
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Victory in a match that never scaled great heights continued a South African revival after a calamitous last season in which they lost eight of 12 Tests.
Winning the first two matches of the series has reignited public support for the Springboks with a 55,820 crowd creating an electric atmosphere.
South Africa were skippered by lock Eben Etzebeth for the first time after the late withdrawal of No.8 Warren Whiteley due to a groin injury.
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Flanker Jean-Luc du Preez replaced Whiteley with Jaco Kriel coming into the team off the bench. South Africa won the World Cup for the first time on the same date 22 years ago and one of the team, winger Chester Williams, was introduced to the crowd before the kick-off.
Elton Jantjies, who had succeeded with 11 of 12 kicks at goal during the previous two Tests, put the home team ahead with a sixth-minute penalty.
Within two minutes that lead had stretched to 10 ponts as French winger Virimi Vakatawa was dispossessed and prop Ruan Dreyer sent centre Jesse Kriel over in the corner.
Jantjies converted, but France trimmed the deficit to four points as recalled fly-half Jules Plisson slotted two penalties.
It took 27 minutes for the first scrum, which had to be reset, in keeping with a trend of the series, before the work of new cap Dreyer won South Africa a penalty.
A battle of the boots continued until half-time with Jantjies kicking two more penalties and Plisson one to leave South Africa 16-9 ahead at the break.
South Africa scored a second try just two minutes into the second half after inside centre Jan Serfontein won a line-out and Etzebeth barged over for an unconverted try.
Plisson missed his first penalty attempt of the match after 53 minutes of a stop-start match with too many penalties.
The French fly-half succeeded with another penalty only for South Africa to go 28-12 ahead just past the hour when hooker Malcolm Marx drove over and Jantjies converted.
Substitute scrum-half Rudy Paige rubbed salt into French wounds with a try five minutes from time which Jantjies converted.