The Springboks got a one point win against France in Paris but they didn’t make a point that they’ve got the arsenal to beat the very best in the world.
The Boks won 18-17 after France scored in the 77th minute to make it a one point game.
South Africa though held firm against an impotent French attack that had plenty ball but rarely made an impact.
The reality of this match is that it should never have come down to a one point game had Handre Pollard not missed three penalties and one conversion.
France, it must be remembered had won seven from their previous 20 Tests, which is now seven from 21. They are ranked eighth in the world and they were coming off a 20 point defeat against the All Blacks.
But it is a victory, coach Allister Coetzee’s first in the northern hemisphere in seven matches, and any Bok win in the last two years is to be enjoyed.
Defeat against a French team, among the poorest in the professional era, would have been a disaster for the Boks after last weekend’s 38-3 humiliation against Ireland in Dublin.
France 17 (7)
Tries: Anthony Belleau, Baptiste Serin
SA 18 (8)
Tries: Dillyn Leyds, Jesse Kriel
Conversion: Handre Pollard
Penalties: Pollard (2)
15 Nans Ducuing, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Mathieu Bastareaud, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Anthony Belleau, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Judicael Cancoriet, 5 Paul Gabrillagues, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot
Substitutes: 16 Clement Maynadier, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Daniel Kotze, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Anthony Jelonch, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Francois Trinh-Duc, 23 Damian Penaud
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Wilco Louw 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Trevor Nyakane, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Dan du Preez, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian de Allende