The Springbok Women’s Sevens started the England Sevens World Series on a disappointing note on Friday as they suffered defeats in all three pool matches against host England, Canada and Russia. The team showed some encouraging signs against England despite going down 28-7, but they suffered a heavy 45-0 defeat against Canada and completed the pool stages with a 40-17 defeat against Russia. The Bok Women’s Sevens got their clash against England off to an encouraging start with speedster Phumeza Gadu scoring a try in the second minute shortly after the hosts touched down to level the scores at 7-7.
England hit back with their second try minutes later after finding space out wide and using their pace to cross the tryline. SA fought back hard in the dying minutes of the half as they retained possession and applied pressure on attack, but they could not capitalise on this. They again created a chance to score in the opening minutes of the second half, but were denied by the solid England defence. The hosts supported this defensive effort with solid attack and earned the rewards with two tries before the final whistle for a 28-7 victory.
The team dropped their guard on defence in their second clash against Canada, which allowed the opposition to score four first-half tries for a 26-0 lead. SA, meanwhile, battled to get their hands on the ball, which cost them dearly. Canada continued where they left off in the second half and ran in an extra three tries to secure a 45-0 victory.
Russia were in top form in the team’s final pool clash of the day as they took advantage of the gaps in defence to run in an impressive four tries against the Springbok Women’s Sevens in the first half for a 26-0 lead. South Africa bounced back in the second half with some encouraging moments on attack as Veroeshka Grain, Marithy Pienaar and Rachelle Geldenhuys scored tries to increase their tally to 17 points. But they allowed Russia to add two more tries, which took their total for the match to six and secured a 40-17 victory.
South Africa will participate in the Bowl semi-final on Saturday.
Springbok Women’s Sevens day-one results:
England 28 – 7 SA
Canada 45 – 0 SA
Russia 40 – 17 SA