Tuesday 24 September 2019

Erasmus joy after Boks stun France in thriller

South Africa's head coach Rassie Erasmus. Photo:AFP/Getty Images
South Africa's head coach Rassie Erasmus. Photo:AFP/Getty Images

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Rassie Erasmus hailed his side's spirit as South Africa scored a last-gasp try to snatch a dramatic 29-26 win over France in Paris on Saturday night.

The Springboks stole possession near their own line with less than a minute left and went almost the entire length of the pitch, with the help of four penalties that they kicked into touch, before driving replacement hooker Bongi Mbonambi over for a smash-and-grab success.

"Last week we took it through 15 phases to get a penalty to win the game (and it didn't happen) and this week we had to score a try to win the match," said Erasmus, who felt his side learnt a lot from last weekend's mistakes at Twickenham where England edged them by a point in a controversial finish.

"It was definitely not the most clinical performance but the team was gutsy enough and it feels much better (than last week)."

The Boks had been 23-9 down early in the second half. The sides scored two tries apiece, with the boot of visiting fly-half Handre Pollard, who kicked five penalties and two conversions for a haul of 19 points, proving crucial.

Scotland are up next and their coach, Gregor Townsend, says his team will have step up their eight-try demolition job on Fiji if they are to stand any chance of winning.

The Scots were utterly ruthless as they blew the Pacific Islanders away 54-17 at Murrayfield.

Tommy Seymour grabbed a hat-trick, with Allan Dell, Fraser Brown, Sean Maitland, Jamie Ritchie and Adam Hastings also scoring.

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Townsend acknowledged that it will be a different prospect next Saturday against the Boks.

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