The Springboks had a horror 2016 on the field winning just 4 of 12 test matches and will be aiming for a positive start to the second season under “new” coach Allister Coetzee when they take on the French in a 3 match series.
The Springboks have a mediocre record against France in recent times and in the past 9 matches France has won 3 times, the Springboks 5 times and one draw. Although the four most recent results belong to the Springboks.
Past 9 results.
2005: Draw 30-30 at Kings Park Stadium, Durban
2005: France won 26-20 at Stade de France
2005: South Africa won 27-13 at Boet Erasmus, Port Elizabeth
2006: France won 36-26 at Newlands
2009: France won 20-13 at Stade Municipal, Toulouse
2010: South Africa won 42-17 at Newlands
2013: South Africa won 19-10 at Stade de France
2017: South Africa won 37-14 at Loftus Stadium, Pretoria
2017: South Africa won 37-15 at Kings Park Stadium, Durban
The Springboks four new caps all had a solid games in their first two test match offering some urgency and energy to the side.
The 9, 10 combinations of Hougaard and Jantjies will be interesting to watch to see if Elton Jantjies can continue with his good form on the international stage. If the Springboks can get good front foot ball, the back 3 of Skosan, Coetzee and Rhule could cause some problems.
Upfront you have the super star in the making in Marx, who is strong, mobile and performs as an additional loose forward. The loose trio is balanced with the attacking flair of Whiteley, the hard working Kolisi and big ball carrier in the rugged Jean-Luc du Preez.
France finished 3rd in this year’s Six Nations winning 3 matches, losing to England and Ireland. Last week despite the return of some first choice players to the side the French could not preform much better than the first Test. The young scrum-half Serin and dynamic centre Penaud looked good and just my be the future stars of the side.
It is hard to know what to expect from France but winning at Ellis Park is difficult even for the best teams. The Springboks are full of confidence and energy so we predict a Springbok victory by 15 points.
South Africa: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Raymond Rhule, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Warren Whiteley, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Francois Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds.
France: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Nans Ducuing, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Virimi Vakatawa. 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Baptiste Serin, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Kevin Gourdon, 6 Yacouba Camara, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Clément Maynadier, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Uini Atonio, 19 Paul Jedrasiak, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 François Trinh-Duc, 23 Vincent Rattez.
Date: Saturday, June 24
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 17.00 (17.00 French time; 15.00 GMT)
Expected weather: Partly cloudy with a high of 15°C and a low of 3°C. It’s midwinter on the Highveld.
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)