Springboks take series over France, win 2nd test 37-15

Gaël Fickou, middle, is tackled by South Africa's Franco Mostert, right, during their international rugby union test match between Sout

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) — South Africa responded to an early setback with 23 unanswered points, overpowering France 37-15 in the second test on Saturday to win the three-match series with a game to spare.

The Springboks shrugged off a third-minute try to France fullback Scott Spedding to eventually score four of their own in their best performance under coach Allister Coetzee.

Flanker Siya Kolis set up a try for center Jan Serfontein and then scored one himself, and replacement prop Coenie Oosthuizen and flyhalf Elton Jantjies added late tries to round off the Boks' dominance against a France team that was back to near full strength and expected to provide a stern challenge at Kings Park.

Ultimately it was not close, despite Spedding squeezing over in the corner right at the beginning.

South Africa kept France scoreless for the next hour, backing up some incisive attacking play with long periods of solid defensive work for a second straight win after ending a four-test losing streak in the first game last weekend.

Flyhalf Francois Trinh Duc kicked a second-half penalty after France couldn't find a way through the Springboks during a 15-minute spell of pressure early in the second half, a period that appeared to drain the last ounces of energy from the French attack.

Oosthuizen went barging over to reassert South Africa's superiority, and the Springboks again lifted themselves after France center Damian Penaud scored on his test debut with seven minutes to go.

Then, Kolisi, South Africa's standout player, wrestled the ball free to set up a late try for Jantjies, who collected 22 points on the night.

The third test is in Johannesburg next weekend, another opportunity for South Africa to banish memories of a woeful season in 2016, the worst in their modern history.