The Springbok Women’s Sevens on Saturday started the Rugby Africa Women’s Sevens Olympic Qualifier on a strong note at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park as they registered convincing victories in their first three pool matches to finish the day unbeaten. The team defeated Zambia 59-0 and Namibia 69-0 in one-sided encounters before having to work hard for a 33-0 victory against Zimbabwe in their final match of the day. Kenya also remained unbeaten on the opening day as they defeated Botswana, Senegal and Tunisia.
The Bok Women’s Sevens were in fine form from the outset against Zambia and ran riot on attack throughout the match. Such was the effectiveness of their attack they ran in five tries in the first half, three of which were scored by captain Zenay Jordaan, while speedsters Phumeza Gadu and Veroeshka Grain each scored one to hand the team a 33-0 lead at the break. They continued to stamp their authority in the second half and earned the rewards almost immediately as Mathrin Simmers found space out wide and passed inside to Jordaan, who touched down for her fourth try.
Gadu and Nosiphiwo Goda crossed the tryline soon after to secure an impressive 59-0 victory for the Springbok Women’s Sevens. The team got off to an equally strong start in their second match against Namibia with Simmers scoring back-to-back tries to hand the team an early 14-0 lead. SA’s 2014 Women’s Player of the Year Fundiswa Plaatjie then added back-to-back tries as she took advantage of the gaps in the defence to increase their lead.
Goda and Jordaan added two more tries in the dying minutes of the first half as they side-stepped their way through the defence for a 40-0 lead at the break. They picked up where they left off after the break with Marithy Pienaar scoring, which Jordaan added to minutes later to stretch their lead to 54-0. Lorinda Brown and Jordaan had the final say in the match as they touched down twice in the last two minutes to stretch the score to 69-0.
In their last match of the day against Zimbabwe, Jordaan opened up the scoring thanks to a quick penalty tap after a tight start to the match for a 7-0 lead. This was followed up by a try by Gadu for a 14-0 lead on the stroke of half-time. Zimbabwe, however, challenged them on attack as they did well to retain possession and apply pressure.
Unfortunately for them these efforts were countered by the solid Springbok Women’s defence. The Bok Women’s Sevens wasted no time making their presence felt in the second half as Gadu found space out wide and used her raw pace to dash to the tryline and score. Brown and Gadu struck again a few minutes later as they took advantage of the holes in the defence, which sealed a 33-0 victory for the team.
The Bok Women’s Sevens will face Uganda in their final pool match at 11:00 on Sunday, with the final round of league matches set to be followed by the playoff stages.
Photo credit: Dom Caton/Fotojump