Rugby Union: Springboks hang on

France 12 South Africa 13
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The Independent Online
South Africa, spurred by a first-half try from James Dalton, clinched the two-match series against France on Saturday.

The Springboks, who have played a record four successive Tests without team changes, won the first clash 22-12 last weekend.

Henry Honiball converted Dalton's try and put over two penalties to complete the scoring for the Springboks, who have now won four of their five tests on tour. They beat also Argentina 2-0 and complete their schedule against Wales in Cardiff next week.

The only scorer for France was Richard Dourthe who kicked four penalties, three in the second half, as the home side edged tantalisingly closer to the world champions.

After Dourthe and Honiball had exchanged penalties in the opening 10 minutes, South Africa scored through Dalton after 26 minutes. A concerted attack swung from the right across the field, where Joost van der Westhuizen fed the ball out quickly, leaving the defence outnumbered.

Mark Andrews chose to bypass the centres and flung a long high pass out to his winger Jacques Olivier, who with two defenders both going for him fed the ball inside to the unmarked Dalton who ran in for the try.

The Springboks were, for most of the game, in control, forcing France into numerous mistakes, both in their handling and kicking during open play.

"We played two Tests against France without conceding a try, that's good for the team. It shows its character." Andre Markgraaf, the South African coach, said.

Abdelatif Benazzi, the French captain, said: "Again we dropped several balls and this was fatal."

France: Penalties Dourthe 4. South Africa: Try Dalton; Conversion Honiball; Penalties Honiball 2.

FRANCE: J-L Sadourny; L Leflamand, R Dourthe, S Glas, D Venditti; C Lamaison, G Accoceberry; C Califano, M Dal Maso, F Tournaire (J-J Crenca, 73), O Merle, F Pelous, P Benetton (M Lievremont, 66), R Castel, A Benazzi (capt).

SOUTH AFRICA: A Joubert; J Small, J Mulder, H Le Roux, J Olivier; H Honiball, J Van der Westhuizen; D Theron, J Dalton, A Garvey, K Wiese, M Andrews, R Kruger, A Venter, G Teichmann (capt).

Referee: D G Bevan (Wales).

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