France 20, Springboks 13


Paul Dobson from previews the test between the Frogs and the Boks.

It will be tough in Toulouse when the two big, abrasive packs meet on Friday night, in the beating heart of France’s passionate rugby.

If Imanol Harinordoquy’s wartalk is anything to go by the French forwards will get stuck in. They think the Springboks are nasty and intend meeting nasty with nasty. But then Harinordoquy has talked big before, not always cleverly and not always with good results for himself or his side.

Furthermore the Springboks have been more respectful of the laws than sometimes in the past. In the three Tri-Nations matches in South Africa, they were penalised just under half as much as their opponents. But then, impartiality being what it is, away from home they were penalised twice as much as their opponents, and this time they are away from home.

Obviously penalties are important in deciding close encounters, and this will be a close encounter. France had Joël Jutge, the former Test referee, talk to referee Wayne Barnes at the Lensbury conference wanting the ruck well controlled and a watchful eye kept on offside, especially from kicks. The French noted that André Watson, South Africa’s manager of referees, had also spoken to Barnes.

When there are penalties, there is often telling kicking and South Africa probably have the more telling kicker in cool-headed Morné Steyn. They have based much of their game on clever kicking, and do it with great success. This could make life hard for big Damien Traille playing out of position at fullback and possibly cumbersome.

After seeing the demolition job Martín Castrogiovanni did on the Springboks when they played Leinster, the French front row must be licking its lips. Castrogiovanni had never dome to any of them what he did to Gürthro Steenkamp and co. The French front row is tough enough to dominate the Springboks and one would expect a more concerted, eight-man contribution from the Springboks this time.

Both sides have tall men in the line-outs and should be able to ensure their own ball. France has options enough for them to be able to avoid throwing to Romain Millo-Chlusky if Victor Matfield is in his vicinity.

If the scrums and line-outs are equal, a lot will depend on the loose forwards and here the Springboks may just have the edge with stocky Heinrich Brüssow who has had the chance compete against masterly fetchers such as Richie McCaw, George Smith and David Pocock.

France, from scrumhalf to fullback, have big, muscular backs, which could just be detrimental if they have to turn around or when there is a competition for speed. They do not have a player of Fourie du Preez’s class to run the game.

The French backs may well target Adrian Jacobs in the vulnerable inside centre channel. It’s a good position to have big Maxime Mermoz or Louis Picamoles or, when arrives, Sébastien Chabal charging like wildebeest at the little tourist.

The French approach is likely to be direct and uncompromising, but this Springbok side is battle-hardened and has men who can cope.

John Smit has shown the value of captaincy even in the modern game of broadcast instructions. He is streets ahead of Thierry Dusautoir in experience – the most capped Test captain of all-time against a novice.

Players to watch: If there is to be any flair it may well come from scrumhalf Julien Dupuy who can snipe effectively and flyhalf François Trinh-Duc who opened up the New Zealand defence with that great try at Carisbrook this year. There is greater potential flair on the Springbok side with Bryan Habana, JP Pietersen and Jaque Fourie. You would want to watch those and you will see Schalk Burger, Victor Matfield and Bakkies Botha. Personality seems to rest with the South Africans.

Head to Head: The most important contest could be that between France’s new captain Thierry Dusautoir and South Africa’s new player Heinrich Brüssow who in a few matches has risen to stardom. There is also potentially an interesting contest at No.8 between strong, robust Louis Picamoles and fast, clever Ryan Kankowski. If it is tough, Picamoles is likely to flourish. If there are chances to run, Kankowski can do that. But the big head-to-head could just be front three against front three – Nicolas Mas, William Servat and Fabien Barcella against John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis and Beast Mtawarira.

Previous Results
2006: France won 36-26 at Newlands
2005: France won 26-20 at Stade de France, Paris
2005: South Africa won 27-13 at Boet Erasmus, Port Elizabeth
2005: Draw 30-30 at King’s Park, Durban
2002: France won 30-10 at Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
2001: France won 20-10 at Stade de France, Paris
2001: South Africa won 20-15 at King’s Park, Durban
2001: France won 32-23 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
1997: South Africa won 52-10 at Parc des Princes, Paris
1996: South Africa won 13-12 at Parc des Princes, Paris
1996: South Africa won 22-12 at Stade Municipal, Bordeaux
1995: South Africa won 19-15 at King’s Park Stadium, Durban
1993: France won 18-17 at Ellis Park, Johannesburg
1993: Draw 20-20 at King’s Park, Durban
1992: France won 29-16 at Parc des Princes, Paris
1992: South Africa won 20-15 at Stade Gerland, Lyon

That means in 16 matches, two have been drawn and France and South Africa have each won seven. France won three times in South Africa, South Africa four times in France.

France are not easy meat in France. In that time the All Blacks have played eight times in France, winning five with a draw. In New Zealand France have won three out of nine. Two of those were in 1994 when the won the series against the All Blacks and the third was in June this year.

France are tough opponents. Prediction: France to win by about five in a touch encounter.


France: 15 Damien Traille, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Yann David, 12 Maxime Mermoz, 11 Cédric Heymans, 10 François Trinh-Duc, 9 Julien Dupuy, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Romain Millo-Chluski, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Fabien Barcella
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Sylvain Marconnet, 18 Sébastien Chabal, 19 Julien Bonnaire, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 David Marty, 22 Maxime Médard.

South Africa: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Adi Jacobs, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (captain), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Wian du Preez, 18 CJ van der Linde, 19 Andries Bekker, 20 Danie Rossouw, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Wynand Olivier.

Date: Friday, 13 November 2009
Kick-off: 20.45 (19.45 GMT 21.45 SA time)
Venue: Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Expected weather conditions: Overcast with a high of 18°C, dropping to 10°C and a light wind from the southeast.
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: George Clancy (Ireland), James Jones (Wales)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

Facebook Comments


  1. Frog midfield:

    13 Yann David 1,85 and 105 kg
    12 Maxime Mermoz 1,80 and 90 kg

    Adi Jacobs: 1,70 and 87 kg.
    Let’s hope he can stop them.

  2. Brussow just so much better
    than Afkophoender, who could
    have stopped the Frogs try
    movement but just missed out
    on the tackle altogether.

  3. The French are targetting the Bokke with some dirty shit and trying to get them to retaliate – Bokke so far holding back well!
    No wonder I hate the French :realangry:

  4. SA: too many handling errors giving us no momentum. Out muscled in at the breakdown by a very detirmined team.

    Bokke do not want to be on this tour – too bloody cold!

    At least my bank account just grew a bit :?

  5. Jy kan nie vir 20 min met 14 ouens speel nie het dit ge call dat 8 ‘n probleem gaan wees kankasy is kak en kan nie speel as die game nie volgens sy span gaan nie

  6. well that is the fate of being #1 and WC champions – everyone is focused on taking you down. Bokke could concentrate on the 3N because there was a title to win. What is there to win on this tour? NOTHING you can only lose!

  7. Reply to Boertjie @ 11:38 pm:

    it was a combo – ref let everything go at the breakdown and only worried about side entry. He missed a load of dirty tricks by the French and that took the rythem out of the Bok play.

    BUT ref did not cause us to drop balls in contact (this use to be a problem and is now returning) ref did not make us lose our line-out ball (hat off to the frogs) ref did not make us go backwards at the contact (hat off to the frogs)

    in the end – they wanted it more than we did.

  8. Poor poor poor.

    First 20 they looked like deer in headlights.

    No playmaker in the backline. Adi good on defense, but nothig on attack. He is not a 12!!!! He needs the extra space at 13 to do his thing. Prince Charming would have done better if he started.

    Kankofski = :poop: :poop: :poop: :poop:
    Everybody always giving Bekker shit about standing on the wing. When are they going to start give Kankak grief about being there, not passing and the total inability to hang on to a ball in contact. He does not link with the backline, he only want to shine on his own. Link means actually passing the ball sometimes.

    CJ good??? Yeah right

    Du Preez seemed uninterested.

    Burger at 7? Not for me Vermeulen would have done a better job.

    Loosie combo cost the Bokke

    Bokke found their new Dickenson. Barnes just love penalising the Boks. Happened in Brisbane and again today. Although some guys did make it easy for him.

  9. OK, lets blame the stupid
    tactics, missed tackles,
    balls dropped, lineouts lost,
    mauls lost, shit kicks on the
    What did I leave out?

  10. Bliksem boys its been a while since I felt this pissed off. First the Proteas again showed their inabillity to read and count, and now this… off to find that bottle of john daniels and crawl inside it.

  11. Reply to JT @ 11:55 pm:

    Hoping they lose by less
    than 30?
    Remember the AB’s also had
    a long season, lots of
    fatigue etc. etc.etc.
    but somehow it never
    affects them on the EOYT.

    Oirish are also going to
    beat the shit out of the

    Saracens next.

  12. Reply to damneddutch @ 11:59 pm:

    So baie regisseurs het nie ‘n
    fokkin kloe hoe om ‘n game te
    sny nie:
    Wyd as dit medium moet wees;
    Medium as dit wyd moet wees;
    Naby as dit medium moet wees ens.
    Op die ou end kry jou brein nie
    die prentjies en die perspektief
    vloeiend aanmekaargesit nie.

    Dan kry jy ‘n maul, maar jy sien
    net ‘n nabyskoot van een ou se gat.

  13. Wat ‘n klomp :poop: !!

    Ek dink Bob Marley wat die anthem verkrag het, sou beter gedoen het.

    At least was hy nie die enigste ou wat gerook was nie – die hele bokspan was op ‘n ander planeet!

  14. Reply to Boertjie @ 11:58 pm: Nope the Boks have had the long season and it is showing. Remember Ted a.k.a. the Headmaster has been calling the shots on which of the AB’s could play in Air New Zealand cup games and which needed resting. Then when the semi finals and finals came the entire AB squad was unavailable and preparing for the EOYT. What do we go and do? Run the same old players into the ground week after week in the Currie Cup right to the finals. Dom.

    I will agree with you on the need for us not to hide behind blaming the ref for our poor display. It is the same Wayne Barnes that has been blamed by NZ for them being bundled out of the last world cup and people are tired of that. The AB’s lost that match because nobody believed they would lose to the French – a bit like the Boks in To Lose!