Get Newsletter

France edge Boks as both teams see red

MATCH REPORT: France stretched their winning streak to 12 consecutive matches when they edged South Africa 30-26 In Marseille on Saturday in a game where both teams lost players with red cards.


In fact, the Springboks were down to 13 men for the last 10 minutes.

The first red card went to Bok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit, who was given his marching orders in the 12th minute for a dangerous clean-out – with head-on-head contact at a ruck.

French captain and scrumhalf Antoine Dupont joined him in the naughty chair in the 48th minute, following his red card for playing Cheslin Kolbe in the air.

In the 79th minute, replacement Deon Fourie was issued with a yellow card for a cynical foul, collapsing a maul.

The teams scored two tries each, with French fullback Thomas Ramos sealing the win with 20 points – a conversion and six penalties.

* To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

Les Bleus, next year’s World Cup hosts, laid down a marker with a win over the Webb Ellis Cup holders less than 10 months out from the tournament.

France coach Fabien Galthié kept the same starting lineup from last weekend’s win over Australia.


After the smoke from the pre-match show lifted, Springbok captain Siyamthanda Kolisi came out of the tunnel sprinting in front of the 65,000 full house, reminiscent of when he became the first black player to lead his country in June 2018.

Thomas Ramos kicked a penalty to make it 3-0 to the hosts before du Toit’s moment of madness after just 12 minutes as he collided with Jonathan Danty at a ruck.

Galthié was forced to re-shuffle his backline with Danty off for a head injury assessment as flank Sekou Macalou came onto the wing and Yoram Moefana moved to centre.

Galthié’s outfit took the ascendancy and Ramos added a second penalty to make it 6-0 after 17 minutes before Cyril Baille crashed over just after the quarter mark.


Ramos slotted the extras to make it 13-0 with the Webb Ellis Cup holders stunned.

Wing Cheslin Kolbe scored a penalty to make it 13-3 after 25 minutes to calm the away side’s nerves.

Kolisi’s pre-game passion lifted to another level on the half-hour mark as he spun away from a rolling maul to slide over, then celebrated by pointing to the sky, before Kolbe kicked the additional points to make it 13-10.

With things finely balanced and the Boks calmed after du Toit’s red card, Ramos was successful with a third penalty which made it 16-10 at the break.

* (Article continues below video of Du Toit’s red card)

Uncle Falatea

Kolbe and Ramos traded penalties after the interval as France led 19-13 with 35 minutes remaining.

Dupont then followed Du Toit as he took out Kolbe in the air from a Francois de Klerk kick with the Boks camped inside Les Bleus’ 22-metre area.

After a second line-out Willie le Roux found Kurt-Lee Arendse with a sublime pass before scrumhalf de Klerk slotted the touchline conversion to make it 20-19 with less than half an hour to play.

Dupont’s opposite number De Klerk, having taken over the kicking duties from Kolbe, off for a head injury assessment, and Ramos exchanged shots at goal to leave the score at 23-22 to set up a tense final quarter.

De Klerk was subbed off before Damian Willemse made it 26-22 with a penalty.

After three pick-and-goes on the South Africa line, replacement prop Sipili Falatea buried over, two phases after his nephew Yoram Moefana had broken the defensive line.

Barnes’ checked the try with his video referee before Ramos missed the conversion leaving the score 27-26 with four minutes to go.

France’s 12th straight victory was sealed with less than two minutes on the clock as Ramos kicked a penalty from 45 metres out to stake their claim for next year’s World Cup.

Man of the match: Willie le Roux, Cheslin Kolbe, Damian de Allende, Kurt-Lee Arendse, Francois de Klerk, Siyamthanda Kolisi, Franco Mostert and Eben Etzebeth all put their hands up for the visitors. France relied heavily on the brute strength of forwards like Gregory Alldritt, Charles Ollivon, Anthony Jelonch, and Cameron Woki. Flyhalf Romain Ntamack and No.9 Antoine Dupont (before his red card) also made massive contributions. Our award goes to French fullback Thomas Ramos, who had a near flawless kicking performance – contributing 20 points and the 79th-minute penalty that sealed the win.

Moments of the match: There were plenty of dramatic moments, but the two red cards – Pieter-Steph du Toit (12th minute) and Antoine Dupont (48th minute) – had a profound impact on the game and is likely to result in a couple of bans.

The scorers

For France
Tries: Baille, Falatea
Con: Ramos
Pens: Ramos 6

For South Africa
Tries: Kolisi, Arendse
Cons: Kolbe, De Klerk
Pens: Kolbe 2, De Klerk, Willemse

Red cards: Pieter-Steph du Toit (South Africa, 12 – foul play, dangerous clean-out with head-on-head contact), Antoine Dupont (France, 48 – foul play, playing an opponent in the air)
Yellow card: Deon Fourie (South Africa, 70 – cynical foul, collapsing maul)


France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Gael Fickou, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Yoram Moefana, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont (captain), 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon, 6 Anthony Jelonch, 5 Thibaud Flament, 4 Cameron Woki, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Julien Marchand, 1 Cyril Baille
Replacement: 16 Peato Mauvaka, 17 Reda Wardi, 18 Sipili Falatea, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Bastien Chalureau, 21 Sekou Macalou, 22 Maxime Lucu, 23 Matthieu Jalibert

South Africa: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Kurt-Lee Arendse, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Deon Fourie, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Makazole Mapimpi.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Karl Dickson (England) & Christophe Ridley (England)
TMO: Brian MacNeice (Ireland)

  • Additional reporting by AFP

Join free

Japan Rugby League One | Bravelupus v Eagles | Full Match Replay

Big Jim Show | Guinness Six Nations | England v Scotland

Vancouver SVNS - Day 2 - Full Replay

Vancouver SVNS - Day 1 - Full Replay

Life on Tour: 4

Wolfhounds v Clovers | Celtic Challenge 2024 | Full Match Replay

Boks Office | Jesse Kriel reveals the hardest team he had to play at the Rugby World Cup

Big Jim Walks and Talks with Handré Pollard


Write A Comment