DURBAN:A late Lwazi Mvovo try sealed a 36-28 victory for South Africa A over the French Barbarians Friday in the first rugby match at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
The ground was built for the 2010 World Cup and previously hosted a T20 cricket international between South Africa and India.
In a match that remained true to the Barbarians’ tradition of running rugby, both teams turned down easy penalty goal opportunities, seeking tries instead.
The French selection led twice early in the game, but battled at the line-outs and trailed 22-21 at half-time in cool early southern hemisphere winter conditions.
South Africa fell behind a third time when a clever grubber kick from outstanding Baabaas fly-half Frederic Michalak set up replacement back Anthony Belleau to score.
But the tourists faded in the closing stages and centre Harold Vorster and full-back Mvovo scored tries converted by fly-half Lionel Cronje and his replacement, Fred Zeilinga.
Mvovo (2), winger Makazole Mapimpi, loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Vorster (2) were the South African try scorers with Cronje kicking two conversions and Zeilinga one.
Scrum-half Yann Lesgourgues, Michalak and Belleau (2) scored tries for the Barbarians, all of which Michalak converted.
The teams meet again next Friday at another football ground, Orlando Stadium in Soweto.