Rampant Springboks whitewash France
Malcolm Marx and Rudy Paige scored their first Test tries as rampant South Africa sealed a whitewash of France with a resounding 35-12 victory at Ellis Park on Saturday.
The Springboks endured a miserable 2016, but they were too good for Les Bleus in the first two Tests and it was the same story in the final game of the series.
Jesse Kriel scored the only try of the first half and there was also a five-pointer for stand-in captain Eben Etzebeth, leading his country for the first time in the absence of the injured Warren Whiteley, before Marx and Paige went over.
Elton Jantjies helped himself to a 15-point haul with the boot as South Africa beat France at the famous Johannesburg stadium for the first time in five attempts to continue their resurgence.
Four penalties from recalled fly-half Jules Plisson is all France could muster and they were well beaten 22 years to the day since the Springboks won the World Cup for the first time.
Jantjies slotted over a penalty to put the Springboks in front after a powerful from from Jaco Kriel and Jesse Kriel finished superbly in the corner to score the opening try following a turnover, forced when France came under huge pressure in their own 22.
The clinical Jantjies converted superbly, but Plisson got the visitors on the board from the tee in a frantic start in which the tourists threatened but were unable to breach the Springboks defence.
Jantjies added another six points from the tee, before Plisson responded to reduce the deficit to 16-9 at the end of the first half.
France's hopes of mounting a fightback suffered a big blow early in the second half when a catch and drive from a lineout resulted in the the influential Etzebeth powering his way over.
Hooker Marx increased South Africa's advantage by going over at the foot of a post on his home ground after Plisson's fourth penalty, with the relentless Boks closing in on a whitewash.
Paige came off the bench to add another six minutes from time, taking a pass from Mbongeni Mbonambi to surge over, and Jantjies added the extras to round off an encouraging display from Allister Coetzee's men.