France head coach Fabien Galthie said on Saturday his side "are on the right path" for next year's Rugby World Cup after edging Webb Ellis trophy holders South Africa 30-26 in Marseille.
Both teams had players sent off with the Springboks' 2019 World Rugby Player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit shown a red card inside the first quarter of an hour before last year's award winner Antoine Dupont suffered the same fate after the break for the home side.
Les Bleus, the tournament's hosts, have now beaten all of the top 10 ranked nations since Galthie took over after the 2019 World Cup.
"We had a powerful experience tonight and we won. We wanted to win in whatever way possible," Galthie told France Televisions.
"The scenario was very unique. We're advancing. We're on the right path," he added.
Galthie kept the same starting lineup from last weekend's win over Australia, the country's record 11th straight victory.
"They're a great, amazing side. They've shown that for 12 games now," Boks captain Kolisi told reporters.
"They have a strong pack. They are a force to be reckoned with already," he added.
After the smoke from the pre-match show lifted, Kolisi came out of the tunnel sprinting in front of the 65,000 full house, reminiscent of when he became the first black player to lead his country in June 2018.
Thomas Ramos kicked a penalty to make it 3-0 to the hosts before du Toit's moment of madness after just 12 minutes as he headbutted Jonathan Danty at a ruck.
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