Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Paul Delport said he was pleased with the team’s overall performance in Santiago in Chile, where the South Africans managed to win three from five games at the World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series, to continue with their recent positive strides in the build-up to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town next month.
They managed to beat Sri Lanka in their final game at the recent Commonwealth Games a few weeks ago and then carried that momentum into the Challenger Series 2022, where they registered wins over Chile (twice) and Papua New Guinea, while ending on the losing side against the more experienced outfits of China and Kenya, despite fielding four newcomers.
“I believe we managed to achieve our own team goals in Chile,” was Delport’s assessment after the three-day qualifying event finished on Monday morning (SA time) in South America.
“We are disappointed with the losses against China and Kenya, which showed we still have lot to learn, but we played well and deserved the wins over Chile and Papua New Guinea.
“Looking back, I saw us gaining more valuable experience at international level, while we also gave a couple more players a taste of what international sevens rugby is all about. We wanted to show more on attack and increase the knowledge of our defensive system,” added Delport, who again had to make do without some more established players who are currently in camp with the Springbok Women’s team for their Test series against Spain.
With the benefit of regular competition – the Springbok Women’s Sevens have now competed in four international tournaments this year – and good preparations at their base in Stellenbosch, the squad continue with their efforts to build a good foundation which will benefit them in the long run, but also with an eye on next month’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town.
On Sunday evening, South Africa played Chile for a second time to determine ninth place overall, and they did not disappoint despite the home team’s good support. The Bok Women’s Sevens team scored five tries to two on their way to complete the double over the Chileans, who they also managed to beat on the opening day of the three-day event.
Chile made a strong start, but it was the South Africans who managed to open the scoring when Felicia Jacobs dotted down for a converted try. However, the hosts’ reply was swift, and they finished the half with a 10-7 advantage following two tries out wide.
The South Africans found another gear in the second half and their lively attacking play outgunned the home side and yielded four more tries, two scored by Zanele Masuku, while Marlize de Bruin and Snyders also managed to get on the scoresheet for a comfortable 29-10 win in their last match of the tournament.
They also beat Papua New Guinea in their playoff match on Sunday after winning one of their three Pool D encounters on Friday and Saturday.
Uruguay (men) and Japan (women) earned core status on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2023 after they each emerged triumphant from the Challenger Series.
The Springbok Women’s Sevens team will now return home to complete their preparations for next month’s Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Cape Town.