Rugby Union: Older generation exposed by rampant Springboks

France 10 South Africa 52
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The Independent Online
France will be glad of the chance to make a fresh start in a new stadium after their humiliation by South Africa in their final match at Parc des Princes.

South Africa bounced back from defeats by the Lions and New Zealand this year to demolish France by a record score in the series-clinching second Test on Saturday, the home side's seventh successive loss to a major southern hemisphere nation.

South Africa played brilliant, open rugby allied to their traditional strengths of tenacity and an unequalled sense of purpose and the fact that only five members of the Springboks team were in their country's World Cup squad two years ago is indicative of their continuing evolution.

France, in contrast, pinned their hopes on an old guard that included nine members of the side narrowly beaten by the South Africans in the World Cup semi-final.

There was a gulf in thought and pace as a fine generation of French players were exposed as past their time, reared within the bounds of a more schematic game that the southern hemisphere nations are forever breaking.

The winger Pieter Rossouw scored four tries as the Springboks ran at the French from every corner of the ground, players already running at full speed as they took the ball.

The French captain Philippe Saint-Andre said: "We can no longer call on the old qualities of courage and solidarity. The southern hemisphere players are, today, faster and more resistant to the tackle. When we build two phases of play they're capable of five or six in a row."

It was the first time France, who are expected to contain wholesale changes as they prepare to defend their Five Nations crown at the new national Stade de France, have conceded more than 50 points in an international.

France: Try Ibanez; Conversion Lamaison; Penalty Lamaison. South Africa: Tries Snyman, Rossouw 4, Teichmann, Honiball; Conversions Honiball 7; Penalty Honiball.

FRANCE: J L Sadourny; D Venditti (L Leflamand, 47), C Lamaison, S Glas, P Saint-Andre (capt; D Casadei, 75); T Lacroix, F Galthie (J Cazalbou, 69); C Califano, M Dalmaso, F Tournaire, O Merle, O Brouzet, P Benetton, L Cabannes (F Pelous, h-t), A Benazzi.

SOUTH AFRICA: P Montgomery; J Small, A Smyman, D Muir, P Rossouw (J de Beer, 79); H Honiball, W Swanepoel; O Du Randt, J Dalton, A Garvey, K Otto, M Andrews, J Erasmus (A Aitken, 48), A Venter, G Teichmann (capt).

Referee: P O'Brien (New Zealand).

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