Springboks ex­pect more of the same

The Citizen (KZN) - - SPORT - Ru­dolph Ja­cobs

The Springboks might boast a great record at the venue for tonight’s Test against France at the Stade de France in Paris (right), but clashes be­tween the two ri­vals haven’t al­ways been smooth rides.

The Boks’ first Test at the pic­turesque sta­dium was memorable, with South Africa beat­ing their hosts 44-21 in front of ap­prox­i­mately 77 000 fans in the 1999 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals.

On that oc­ca­sion, fly­half Jan­nie de Beer scored 34 points through two con­ver­sions, five penalty goals and a world record of five drop goals.

To date, South Africa have played eight Tests at the Stade de France, boast­ing a record of six wins against two de­feats.

Of those eight Tests, how­ever, only four were played against France, with the Boks win­ning two and los­ing two.

South Africa, mean­while, also carry the na­tional team’s fond me­mories of their big­gest win against France (42 points) in 1997 at the Parc des Princes, also in Paris, where the Springboks ran in seven tries to se­cure a 52-10 vic­tory.

On that day, wing Pi­eter Ros­souw scored four tries, be­com­ing only the sec­ond Bok to achieve the feat in a Test match.

While the Boks have won their last six Tests against France, South Africa hold an over­all win record of 60% in the 43 matches played be­tween the two teams, win­ning 26, los­ing 11 and draw­ing six.

There have been poor days too, with their big­gest de­feat against France com­ing in Mar­seilles in 2002 when South Africa lost 3010, with cen­tre Jean de Vil­liers and lock Bakkies Botha mak­ing their de­buts.

The to­tal Test caps in the Spring­bok start­ing line-up is 444, and the av­er­age age of the start­ing 15 is 26 years.

There are 191 caps in the back­line, with 253 among the for­wards and an­other 149 on the bench.

The av­er­age caps per player in the back­line is 27, while among the for­wards the av­er­age is 32 and on the bench it is 19.

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