France produced an aggressive display of attack and defence to end their autumn season on a high with a win over the South Africa in an icy Paris.
The French rocked the Boks early, and continued to hold out defensively in the second half to record only their fifth win in 16 games between the two sides in France.
It also means that the Boks have not broken their losing streak in the country which stretches back to 1999.
The French struck as early as the third minute, as Yannick Nyanga surged twice upfield through some brittle Bok tackling, the second time taking a clutch of Bok defenders with him before looping an inside pass from the touchline to hooker Dimitri Szarzewski to run 20 metres to score the opening try.
But the Boks were to be shaken further when midfielder Jean De Villiers tried to offload in the tackle and popped the ball in a perfect intercept to Frederic Michalak who sprinted away from Jaque Fourie to the corner to put the home side in control.
Scrum-half Jean-Baptiste Ellissalde converted and added an easy penalty two minutes later when Springbok hooker John Smit led with the elbow and was penalised for his indiscretion.
Percy Montgomery missed a simple attempt and the Boks were finding hard to come to terms with the physical tactics of the French, as well as the major leeway at the breakdown allowed by referee Scott Young and had to be consoled at the break with just a single Montgomery penalty to go in at 15-3.
Elissalde added a penalty shortly after the break before Bakkies Botha put his side firmly onto the scoreboard with a try.
Botha went over after a break by scrum-half Michael Claassens, who otherwise had a forgetful day.
But even though Montgomery took the team to double figures, hopes of a sudden revival were squashed when Elissalde sent through a grubber which winger Aurelien Rougerie plucked out of the air and dived over to give the home side a 23-10 advantage.
The teams swopped penalties again, but the Boks finally looked to have made a game of it when Meyer Bosman slipped Fourie a perfect pass for the midfielder to run through untouched and bring the visitors within a try of their opponents.
But it wasn't to be as the Boks tried everything but were unable to break down the French defence.