The Springbok Women Sevens on Saturday booked their place in the 2014/2015 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series with a fourth-place finish in the World Series Qualifier in Hong Kong. South Africa had to advance to the semifinal of the tournament to secure a place among the core teams on the circuit, and they achieved this goal in their opening match on Saturday by defeating the Netherlands 22-7. The victory earned them a place in the semifinal against France.
But they were unable to replicate the form that earned them a victory against the French in their opening pool match, and suffered a 14-5 defeat. They also suffered a narrow 12-7 defeat against China in the third and fourth place playoff. The Springbok Women Sevens were in fine form against the Netherlands as flyhalf and captain Zenay Jordaan controlled the game well while the team played as a tight-knit unit throughout the clash.
Marithy Pienaar, Fundiswa Plaatjie and Veroeshka Grain scored first-half tries to steer the team to an encouraging 15-0 lead at the break. This was compliments of a determined effort on attack and defence. The Netherlands bounced back with a try after the break, but Grain’s second try from a solid set piece sealed the 22-7 victory for the side and secured their place on the 2014/2015 World Series circuit.
Unfortunately for Jordaan and her team they were unable to build on this performance in their last two matches. France scored two first-half tries to only one five-pointer by Pienaar in the semifinal for their 14-5 victory, while China also out-scored South Africa two tries to one for their 12-7 victory. Fiji won the tournament after beating France 24-19 in the final, while Japan won the Plate Final.
Springbok Women Sevens IRB World Series Qualifier day-two results, Saturday 13 September:
SA 22-7 Netherlands (Quarter-final)
France 14-5 SA (Semi-final)
China 12-7 SA (3rd/4th place play-off)