AAP Rugby

South Africa snatch Test win in France

By AAP Newswire

Hooker Bongi Mbonambi has scored a try in stoppage time as South Africa snatched a dramatic 29-26 win over France at the Stade de France.

The Springboks stole possession with less a minute left and went almost the entire length of the pitch, with the help of four penalties that they kicked into touch to gain ground, before driving over for a smash and grab success.

Mbonambi peeled off the side of the driving maul to dive over the line in the 85th minute of play to give the visitors success in the second game of their four-test European tour.

They had been 23-9 down early in the second half but turned it around.

"It was an incredible finish and the boys showed fight and perseverance. It was tough but we'll take the win. We picked it up in the second half," winning captain Siya Kolisi said.

France and South Africa scored two tries apiece with the boot of five-eighth Handre Pollard, who kicked five penalties and two conversions for a haul of 19 points, proving the difference.

Baptiste Serin slotted over two penalties in the opening 11 minutes to give France an early 6-0 lead but by the half-hour, South Africa were 9-6 ahead as Pollard slotted three penalties.

Camille Lopez then put over a drop goal to level the scores in the 34th minute.

A sparkling line break by winger Teddy Thomas then set up the first try for France, with captain Guilhem Guirado making a short dart to the try line to give France a 16-9 half-time lead.

Mathieu Bastareaud scored two minutes after the resumption before Springbok winger Sbu Nkosi sped over for a try.

South Africa reduced the deficit to a single point with two more penalties from Pollard as France were again guilty of unnecessary infringements.

Yet a late lunge from scrumhalf Faf de Klerk, which knocked Lopez to the ground, allowed Serin a chance to make it 26-22 with his third penalty of the night.

France looked to be holding out before substitute loose forward Francois Louw stole possession near his own posts to set up a Springbok surge that turned the game on its head.