South Africa beat France in scrappy Test

Nov 18, 2017 - 10:43 PM South Africa have scraped past a lacklustre France 18-17 to make some amends for the horror Test performance against Ireland.

Springboks winger Dillyn Leyds and France flyhalf Anthony Belleau scored their first international tries, both in a scrappy first half that ended 8-7 to the visitors.

Centre Jesse Kriel seemed to have finished off the French with a try awarded after a television match official (TMO) review for a suspected knock-on by lock Eben Etzebeth.

But replacement scrum-half Baptiste Serin ducked under a couple of tackles for a converted try to set up a frantic final three minutes.

It proved too late, as the Springboks beat France for the fourth time this year.

South Africa were reeling from a record 38-3 loss away to Ireland, while the French were also in payback mood after being soundly beaten by New Zealand 38-18.

France coach Guy Noves surprisingly kept the same side, while counterpart Allister Coetzee unsurprisingly made 10 changes.

Belleau slotted over a penalty early in the second half to put the French briefly ahead, but only because opposite Handre Pollard left his kicking boots in the Stade de France dressing room.

He missed three penalties and a conversion, the third penalty miss a woeful slice wide from near the posts after 55 minutes.

Then he found his range, slotting one over shortly after and converting Kriel's try to pad the Springboks lead to 18-10 with about 15 minutes left.

Belleau's late penalty attempt from wide left missed and the home side's efforts petered out until Serin showed quick thinking to spot enough of a gap in the South African defence to squeeze through.

Source: AAP

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