The Springbok Women’s Sevens finished in 12th place in the Canada World Series on Sunday despite putting up a brave fight against China in their final match of the tournament to complete another disappointing campaign. The team went down 17-5 against 2016 Olympic Games hosts Brazil in the Bowl semi-final early on Sunday evening, and then suffered a 31-21 defeat against China to close off the tournament. South Africa started its clash against Brazil with a bang as a strong tackle by Sunelle Barnard earned them a turnover, which Mathrin Simmers took advantage of to force her way up-field, before passing back to Barnard for her first World Series try.
But Brazil hit back with a try of their own from the kick-off and then managed to break through the defence again on the stroke of half-time to take a 12-5 lead. The South Africans did well to apply pressure on Brazil in the second half as they retained possession on attack and made a few encouraging line breaks. But a forward pass and penalty conceded at a ruck at crucial times cost them two possible tries.
Brazil, meanwhile, used the only try-scoring chance they created in the second half to secure their third try and a 17-5 victory. Zenay Jordaan’s team had another encouraging start in the 11th/12th-place play-off against China with Simmers scoring a try in the first minute after fantastic inter-passing to take a 7-0 lead. But their defence and breakdown play let them down in the remainder of the half, which earned China three tries for a 19-7 lead.
They continued to stretch the South African defence after the break and added their fourth try. But the Springbok Women’s Sevens fought back strongly with tries by Veroeshka Grain and Lorinda Brown to reduce the deficit on the scoreboard to 24-21. Their hopes of a victory, however, were shattered by a late try from China’s Liu Yang, which marked her hat-trick in the match and sealed a 31-21 victory for her team.
Springbok Women’s Sevens day-two results (Canada World Series):
Brazil 17-5 SA
China 31-21 SA
Photo credit: Wojie Photography