DHL Western Province scored a commanding 91-12 victory over the EP Queens in Cape Town on Saturday to secure top spot in the Women’s Premier Division and win hosting next weekend’s final against Border Ladies, who had a bye in round seven, in the last round of league play.
The Blue Bulls Women finished third on the log following their 26-7 win over Mastercard Golden Lions Women, while Boland Dames secured a top five finish after securing the narrowest of victories (20-19) over Cell C Sharks Ladies in Grabouw.
DHL needed a big win over the EP Queens to move past Border and top the log, and once they scored their fourth try just before halftime, the home team cut loose in the second and added another 62 unanswered points, almost scoring at will.
The first half was a fairly tight affair, with DHL WP leading by 29-12 after two quick tries, but the visitors scored twice themselves to stay in the match.
However, carnage was about to follow. The visitors completely ran out of steam and had no reply to the sustained blue and white attacks. Zintle Mpupha, who returned from her stint at Exeter in England, had no mercy for the Eastern Cape side, scoring four tries on her return.
The Blue Bulls Women made hard work of their 26-7 win over the Mastercard Golden Lions Women at Wits Rugby Club in Johannesburg. The visitors did not play any of their Springbok Women and it took a while for them to get going without the tactical nous of Rumandi Potgieter and Libbie Janse van Rensburg.
On the opposite side of the field, a determined home team were firing on all cylinders. In fact, a converted try by their dangerous left wing, Maria Tshiremba, not only gave the Lions a 7-5 lead at the break, but a real chance at a first win of the season.
The visitors from Pretoria stuck to their guns though, using their big pack to dominate territory and possession as they scored three late second half tries to secure victory. They still had an outside chance of making it into the finals with the win, but DHL WP’s bonus point win put an end to that.
Boland Dames had to hold out a fast-finishing Cell C Sharks Ladies team in Grabouw and only determined defence by the home side stood between the visitors and a win.
The match was evenly contested, with both sides enjoying spells of dominance, but tries just before and after the break swung the momentum Boland’s way and they could hold on for a good victory to end their season on a high.
Boland scored first, before the visitors dotted down twice to take the lead. The Dames then scored before and after the half-time break to lead 17-12 and Demi Nel kicked a crucial penalty goal before the Sharks scored to cut the lead to one point.
In the midst of the action for the home side was scrumhalf Theresa Ruiters, who not only scored a try in celebration of her 50th match for the Dames, but also kept her team organised on attack and defence.
Women’s Premier Division final standings:
DHL Western Province – 24 points
Border Ladies – 23
Blue Bulls Women – 21
EP Queens – 13
Boland Dames – 11
Cell C Sharks – 8
Mastercard Golden Lions Women – 0
DHL WP 91 (29), EP Queens 12 (12)
DHL WP – Tries: Nokubonga Siko (2), Kimberley Karassellos, Thando Hena (2), Donelle Snyders (2), Babalwa Latsha (2), Sinazo Mcatshulwa (2), Zintle Mpupha (4). Conversions: Kirsten Conrad (8).
EP Queens – Tries: Zenay Jordaan, Anacadia Minnaar. Conversion: Jordaan.
Mastercard Golden Lions Women 7 (7), Blue Bulls Women 26 (5)
Mastercard Golden Lions Women – Try: Maria Tshiremba. Conversion: Marlene Axsel.
Blue Bulls Women – Tries: Doreen Mkhabela (2), Thandeka Shongwe, Lalla Vazi. Conversions: Nontuthuko Shongwe (3).
Boland Dames 20 (12), Cell C Sharks 19 (12)
Boland Dames – Tries: Ayanda Malinga, Theresa Ruiters, Shaunique Hess. Conversion: Anelca Hess. Penalty goal: Demi Nel.
Cell C Sharks Women – Tries: Karthy Dludla, Nqabakazi Nqoro, Megan Comley. Conversions: Tayla Kinsey (2).