Springboks complete tour unbeaten


Mon, Nov 25, 2013 - Page 19

The Springboks completed another European tour unbeaten, while the Wallabies won three straight Tests for the first time in a year in the autumn internationals on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Argentina halted their worst losing run by defeating Italy 19-14 in Rome and Romania’s bid for an unbeaten year was ruined in their final game in Bucharest by Fiji, who triumphed 23-7.

South Africa celebrated their first win over France in France since 1997 after a gutsy 19-10 result.

The Springboks made a perfect start with J.P. Pietersen dotting down barely a minute into the game from his charge down of scrumhalf Morgan Parra.

Left winger Yoann Huget’s try just before halftime gave the French hope after they trailed 13-0, but the Springboks never looked like being overtaken as they had two tries ruled out for knock-ons. Only penalties were added in the second half.

“What makes this team special is that guys really step up if they need to. You win these games by being mentally very tough and struggling through,” Heyneke Meyer said.

He coached South Africa to 10 wins out of 12 this year, losing only to the All Blacks. They compounded France’s dismal season with an eighth defeat in 10 Tests.

“We’re not at their level yet,” France coach Philippe Saint-Andre said. “We’re still missing that little bit extra.”

Australia shrugged off a troubled buildup and the absence of key players to scrape past Scotland 21-15 at Murrayfield in Edinburgh.

Coach Ewen McKenzie’s plans were disrupted by suspensions and injuries, but the Wallabies’ patched-up backline scored tries through fullback Israel Folau in the first half and winger Chris Feauai-Sautia at the start of the second, with Christian Leali’ifano booting the rest of the points.

Scotland, looking for a third successive win over Australia, were only 13-12 behind at halftime thanks to Greig Laidlaw’s unforgiving boot and were never more than a converted try in arrears after the break, but a familiar lack of cutting edge out wide proved their undoing.

“I’m sick of being good losers,” Scotland coach Scott Johnson said.

Argentina could thank Nicolas Sanchez for helping to end their eight-match losing streak.

Sanchez hit three out of four goal-kicks plus a drop-goal to pass 100 points in Tests for the Pumas, while Tommaso Allan, making his first start for Italy, nailed only three out of eight.

Romania had won nine matches and drawn one this year, but they were undone by Fiji, who scored three tries to a penalty try.

In Tbilisi, Georgia beat Samoa 16-15 for the first time.

A week after losing to the US due to a last-minute penalty, Georgia won with a stoppage-time penalty by Merab Kvirikashvili.

Also on Saturday, Japan hammered Spain 40-7 in Madrid, Canada handed Portugal a 52-8 loss in Lisbon and the US topped Russia 28-7 in London.