Bok Women Upset Form Book With SVNS Perth Wins over Great Britain and Spain

South Africa’s Simamkele Namba charges through the Spain defense on Day 2 of the HSBC SVNS at HBF Park in Perth, Australia, on Saturday, 27 January, 2024. Photo: Mike Lee / KLC fotos for World Rugby

The Springbok Women’s Sevens team bounced back from a disappointing start to the HSBC SVNS Perth by bagging two consecutive wins on Saturday, booking them a spot in Sunday’s ninth-place final against Brazil.

Their 14-12 win over Great Britain, who topped Pool A, and a second victory over Spain (12-5) raised the roof for the Blazeboks, who have only won once in 10 matches prior to the Perth event.

Especially the win over Great Britain, South Africa’s first pool victory since joining the 2024 series, was massive, given the fact that the UK side already outplayed Canada and Australia on the opening day.

Bok Women’s Sevens co-captain Zintle Mpupha said their bodies were sore after the first day, but Saturday’s performances will ease the pain for Sunday’s ninth-placed final against Brazil.

“The fact that we could beat Great Britain, who beat both Australia and Canada in the pool, was massive for us and boosted our self-belief. We will rest well and be ready for Brazil,” said Mpupha of Sunday’s match, which kicks off at 05h31 (SA time).

For Nadine Roos, who scored the match winner against Spain, it was a day full of highlights: “It was an exceptional day for us!”

“Bagging two wins shows that the system is delivering results. That is giving us a lot of confidence, knowing that we are improving and going in the right direction as a team.

Springbok Women’s Sevens Points Machine, Nadine Roos

“Our main goal coming here was to improve on where we finished in the previous tournament, and it is great that we managed to do that. We finished 10th in Dubai and if we beat Brazil, it will be ninth, so we certainly don’t need any motivation for that match.”

In the opening match, Great Britain scored first. South Africa fluffed a lineout and their opponents made them pay when wing Jasmine Joyce outflanked the defence.

South Africa, who were defending strongly, started to work their way back into the match and were rewarded when Simamkele Namba stepped inside a defender and ran 40m to score. Roos converted to hand them the lead at the break.

The UK side re-took the lead with three minutes to play after a missed tackle opened up a gap and the converted try took them into a 12-5 lead.

Maria Tshiremba, who scored three tries in Dubai but none in Cape Town, added to her series tally with a crucial match-winner. She was given the ball from an attacking move deep inside the SA half, shrugged off her marker and ran 70m to score under the poles. The Roos conversion proved the difference for a famous win.

Despite the win, the Bok Women still missed out on qualifying for the quarter-finals and played Spain in the ninth placed semi-final.

It was a tight affair against Spain, with a strong defensive performance by Mpupha and Shona-Leah Weston keeping the Spanish pinned in their half in the opening seven minutes. Mpupha ran a great line to score just before the break, a score that gave her side a 5-0 lead at half-time.

The second half was another arm wrestle. Spain managed to score after poor communication on defence opened a gap and converted for the lead.

Roos had the last say two minutes from time when she broke a tackle to score the match winner. The conversion was as good as her team’s calm heads in the last 90 seconds of play, controlling the ball to run out the clock.

Bok Women’s Sevens Pool Fixtures and Results (CAT times, all matches on SuperSport)

Friday 26 January

09h28: Australia 31 (17) – 0 (0) South Africa

Australia, Tries: Bienne Terita (2), Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Faith Nathan, Heidi Dennis
Conversions: Teagan Levi (2), Dominque du Toit

14h04: Canada 26 (7) – 7 (0) South Africa
Canada, Tries: Krissy Scurfield (2), Charity Williams, Asia Hogan-Rochester
Conversions: Chloe Daniels (2), Asia Hogan-Rochester
South Africa, Try: Zintle Mpupha
Conversion: Nadine Roos

Saturday 27 January

05h32: South Africa 14 (5) – 12 (7) Great Britain
South Africa, Tries: Simamkele Namba, Maria Tshiremba
Conversions: Nadine Roos (2)
Great Britain, Tries: Jasmine Joyce, Ellie Boatman
Conversion: Isla Norman-Bell

08h42: South Africa 12 (5) – 7 (0) Spain
South Africa, Tries: Zintle Mpupha, Nadine Roos
Conversion: Roos
Spain, Try: Amaia Erbina
Conversion: Ingrid Algar

Sunday, 28 January

05h31: South Africa v Brazil

Main Photo Caption: South Africa’s Simamkele Namba charges through the Spain defense on Day 2 of the HSBC SVNS at HBF Park in Perth, Australia, on Saturday, 27 January, 2024. Photo: Mike Lee / KLC fotos for World Rugby

Photo 2 Caption: Zintle Mpupha launches to score South Africa’s lone try in Bok Women’s second fixture on Day 2, against Spain in Perth, Saturday, 27 January, 2024. Photo: SA Rugby

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