Their first appearance at a sevens tournament in two years left Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Paul Delport with more smiles than frowns and his players reminded him of their potential in the shortened version of the game.
Delport’s side played in the Hermanus Sevens on Saturday, where the national squad concluded their second training camp of the year with five wins over local provincial teams and the national squad of Zimbabwe, scoring 38 tries with no reply.
Delport said the outing provided him with good insights on the current form of his players and which areas need improvement, as they start to prepare for the Rugby Africa Sevens in April.
“We had a bit of a slow start to the day, but massive kudos to the squad for the way they finished,” Delport said afterwards.
“We showed great character as well. The management team left the players to their own devices for many of the matches, as we wanted them to take charge of what they wanted to do out on the field.
“From a match perspective, it was great just being out there again – we have not played since the last tournament here in Hermanus two years ago. We cannot thank the Boland Rugby Union and Thomas Chowles enough for making this happen and providing us with this opportunity.”
Delport got a lot of answers from the tournament, as he now starts planning for the Rugby Africa Sevens.
“Quite a lot of players stepped up here and it will be a nice headache for me when I need to trim the squad to 14 players for our next camp in March,” he said.
“We are hoping to play in another tournament then, but we will fill in the details in the next couple of weeks.”
Sizophila Solontsi, who captained the side for the weekend’s trip, said a number of objectives were met.
“The most important for us was to not concede tries and we managed that, which was good,” she said.
“A lot of use transitioned back from fifteens to sevens as well as that was really tough, but we managed to get back into it, which was great.”
The players managed to stick to their structures as well, which was important, according to Solontsi: “We managed to do a lot of good things at times, we needed to stay within our structures and not become loose and we did that well, I thought.”
Ayanda Malinga (wing) finished the tournament with 10 tries, which included two hat-tricks.
“It feels good to be playing sevens again, it has been two years,” she said. “It was also really, really good to have some crowds backing us. A lot of people still do not know more about women’s rugby, so having people out here to support us felt great.”
SA 41, Blue Jets 0
Tries: Ayanda Malinga (3), Mathrin Simmers, Liske Lategan, Eloise Webb, Felica Jacobs. Conversions: Donelle Snyders (2), Snenhlanlha Shozi.
SA 39, Boland Black 0
Tries: Ayanda Malinga (3), Liske Lategan, Asisipho Plaatjie, Donelle Snyders, Felicia Jacobs. Conversions: Snyders (2).
SA 43, Zimbabwe 0
Tries: Ayanda Malinga (2), Eloise Webb, Donelle Snyders, Mathrin Simmers, Asisipho Plaatjie, Anacadia Minnaar. Conversions” Eloise Webb (4).
SA 55, Titans2 0
Tries: Alichia Arries, Snenhlanhla Shozi (2), Felicia Jacobs (2), Lusanda Dumke, Asisipho Plaatjie, Rights Mkhari, Ayanda Malinga. Conversions: Shozi (5).
SA 48, Dames White 0
Tries: Ayanda Malinga, Eloise Webb, Anacadia Minnaar, Mathrin Simmers, Rights Mkhari, Lerato Makua, Donelle Snyders (2). Conversions’ Webb (3), Minnaar.