Springboks settle score with France

THERE'S nothing like payback time and the Springboks decided Saturday afternoon was the appropriate moment to set things straight with France.

THERE'S nothing like payback time and the Springboks decided Saturday afternoon was the appropriate moment to set things straight with France.

Despite being the world champions, it was five years since the Boks tasted victory against the Tricolours, and their 42-17 victory must have tasted sweet.

It was a clinical display by the home side and a reminder to the rugby world that, come World Cup time next year, they are going all out for back-to-back victories. The Springbok forwards, in particular, stood up to the French.

Prop Gurthro Steenkamp, celebrating his 29th birthday on Saturday, was looking for a gift and it came in the 31st minute.A long floating pass by flyhalf Morné Steyn aimed at Bryan Habana was grabbed out of the air by Steenkamp who showed a surprising amount of speed for a man weighing 122kg before dotting down.

It wasn't going to be any ordinary touchdown.

A perfect swan dive by the enormous prop was a sight to behold.

Also getting in on the act was lock Danie Rossouw. Following up on his impressive performance last week against Wales, Rossouw wasn't going to show the Six Nations champions any respect.

Manhandling the opposition like a nightclub bouncer, Rossouw has come of age this year and his consistent performances will give the selectors a headache when Bakkies Botha is available for selection from next week.

But it wasn't just the forwards who impressed. Little Gio Aplon, who weighs no more than 75kg when dripping wet, had a man-of-the-match performance with two tries.

Probably the smallest player in international rugby, his never-say-die attitude is symbolic of the team and his lightening speed shows just why he was so dangerous as a Sevens player.

Once again Steyn was his accurate self and waded in with a personal total of 15 points, courtesy of four conversions and one penalty.

For France, it's a day they would rather forget.

Going in to the half-time break 15 points to the deficit, they were never going to claw their way back in to the game.

They'll know they were completely outplayed by a ruthless Bok side but will take a lot from the game.

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