South Africa have edged France twice in a matter of days, beating Les Bleus 18-17 in Paris on Saturday and then claiming one more player in this week’s Stats XV!
Malcolm Marx and Eben Etzebeth led the charge as the touring Boks recovered from their biggest loss against Ireland to sneak past France in Paris.
The hooker gained 100 metres on 14 carries while the Bok skipper rumbled for 104 metres on 17 runs, and both were rewarded with a Stats XV call-up for their efforts. Six other Saffers also got the not, including rookie tighthead prop Wilco Louw, lock Lood de Jager, scrumhalf Ross Cronje, centre Francois Venter, winger Courtnall Skosan and fullback Andries Coetzee.
Louw did most of his damage on defence where he was perfect in 13 tackle-attempts, including three dominant hits. The prop’s numbers pale in comparison to what fellow tight forward De Jager contributed from the second row – 10 runs, 24 tackles, 4 lineouts won and 1 steal!
The selectors went for an all-France back row, but flyhalf Anthony Belleau will be served his possession by Bok halfback Ross Cronje who hit the bullseye with 109 of 113 passes, launched 8 kicks for 222 metres, offloaded twice in 7 carries and roped 13 runners on defence.
Centre Venter spun the ball to the outside backs 14 times, completed 14 of 15 tackles attempts and chipped in with 2 telling kicks for 110 metres. Coetzee broke the line once to gain 112 metres on 11 carries, missed 1 of 3 tackle attempts and moved the contest 96 metres with 2 kicks while Skosan broke one tackle in 4 runs for 15 metres and wrapped up 6 of 7 runners that appeared on his radar.
Head to All Out Rugby’s Player v Player section to do your own comparisons.