Siya Kolisi scored a brilliant try and was involved in another as South Africa continued their rehabilitation with a 37-15 win over France in the second Test at the King's Park Rugby Stadium in Durban to clinch the three-match series.
Kolisi was a deserved man of the match, just one day after his 26th birthday, as the home forwards won a bruising battle against a stronger French side, who had made eight changes after the first Test defeat at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria one week ago.
Jan Serfontein, Coenie Oosthuizen and Elton Jantjies added tries. Jantjies got the first of his Test career right near the end after a break from Kolisi for a total of 22 points in the game to seal a convincing show by the home team.
South Africa will see the win as another step in the right direction after a tumultuous 2016 in which they lost eight out of 12 tests and recorded their worst return ever. France's tries came from Scott Spedding and debutant Damian Penaud on either side of the break.
It was a dream return for South African-born Spedding at the ground where he played for the Sharks a decade ago, albeit in just a handful of appearances, as France took just three minutes to cross the Bok try line-up.
His try in the opening three minutes was only awarded after a several angles of the television replay were shown as Spedding came perilously close to putting a foot into touch as Eben Etzebeth made a desperate attempt to sling him over the sideline.
But there was no clear evidence to suggest that was the case, and New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe awarded the try, which Baptiste Serin expertly converted from wide out.
A minute later the home side had their first points as the touring forwards were penalised and Elton Jantjies slotted over, but France continued the early impetus with debutant Damian Penaud breaking the line and feeding Spedding, whose grubber kick ahead was too strong and carried over.
Raymond Rhule got the home crowd of 41 806 -- the official attendance which looked like some generous accounting -- on their feet with a break as South Africa penetrated the French 22 for the first time in the 10th minute but as the ball moved out wide so scrum half Ross Cronje threw an errant pass into touch and the chance was lost.
Oupa Mohoje was taken off in a neck brace with less than a quarter-hour gone after being knocked out cold in a tackle on French eighthman Louis Picamoles, who went off himself not long after the clash.
Spedding missed as penalty attempt just inside the Bok half after a forward infringement before South Africa opened their try count with a swries of quick passes out wide before Siya Kolisi cut inside to feed Jan Serfontein to cross the line in the 20th minute.
South Africa's targeting of the breakdown turned the momentum but their second try was a moment of magic from Kolisi. A punt up field was fielded by Francois Trinh Duc but he was caught by Serfontein and popped the ball up in the tackle for the rampaging Kolisi to grab it just millimetres from the ground and go on and run from outside the 22 to dive over behind the posts.
The Boks forwards forced two more penalties for Jantjies to kick off and establish a 23-7 lead at the break.
The home defence held out for 27 phases with a gutsy display of defence as France started the second half brightly, finally getting back into the Bok half.
The ferocious defence continued through past the opening 15 minutes of the second half before Penaud had a chance in the corner but Cronje's challenge was enough to push him into touch and Jantjies was able to kick, clearing his line and offering some relief to his teammates.
Trinh Duc, making a first start in a French side since last November, kicked over the first points of the second half in the 65th minute after Franco Mostert was penalised.
But with a raft of changes to introduce fresh legs the Boks added to their try counter after another attacks featuring good handling skills with sharp passes, culminating in Coenie Oosthuizen breaking through to make it 28-10 in the 69th minute.
But straight from the kick off the French went over as the 20-year-old Penaud cut inside to evade at least three tackles and score in his first test, looking every bit an experienced international.
Kolisi then produced another piece of magic at the death with another break that offered Jantjies the chance to run in under the post and leave the home fans in a happy mood - a much changed scenario for South African rugby after a bleak last 12 months.