Rugby Union: Van Rensburg wins draw

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South Africa. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

France. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

FIVE penalties by Theo van Rensburg helped South Africa scrape a 20-20 draw against France in the first Test of the two-match series in Durban on Saturday.

Both sides scored their only tries in the first half - Philippe Saint-Andre for the tourists and Uli Schmidt for the Republic - but France played with more cohesion in a match marred by two ugly brawls plus other numerous skirmishes.

France opened the scoring in the first minute with Lacroix's penalty and they went into half-time 17-11 ahead thanks to Saint-Andre's try.

In the second half Van Rensburg kicked three penalties in reply to one by Lacroix to leave the game drawn.

Three South Africans have been dropped for next Saturday's Test. The locks, Rudi Visagie and Kobus Wiese, are replaced by Hannes Strydom and Nico Wegner; the flanker Ian MacDonald is replaced by Deon Lotter.

SOUTH AFRICA: T van Rensburg; J Small, P Muller, H Fuls, J Olivier; H Le Roux, R du Preez; W Hills, U Schmidt, K Andrews, K Wiese, R Visagie, T Strauss, I MacDonald, F Pienaar (capt).

FRANCE: J-L Sadourny; P Saint-Andre, T Lacroix, P Sella, P Bernat-Salles (O Campan, 49); A Penaud, A Hueber; L Armary, J-M Gonzales, S Graou, O Merle, O Roumat (capt), M Cecillon, P Benetton, L Cabannes.

Referee: S Hilditch (Ireland).