Brave Bok Women’s Sevens Go Winless on Day 1 of Dubai SVNS

Maria Tshiremba on her way to putting the Bok women into the lead in their opening match against New Zealand, where the South African’s narrowly lost to one of the top women’s rugby teams worldwide. The Springbok Women’s Sevens weren’t able to get a win on day one of the Dubai tournament at the Sevens Stadium on 2 December 2023, but the team can take heart from their performances. Photo: Women’s Boks on X

South Africa will face Spain on Sunday in the 11th/12th playoff match, after the Springbok Women’s Sevens team weren’t able to get a win in the pool stage of the Dubai tournament, at the Sevens Stadium on 2 December, 2023.

The team can take heart from their performances, and despite the three defeats on Day 1, South Africa’s improvements were evident as they went toe-to-toe with Fiji and almost gained a historic win over one of the world’s best women’s Sevens sides. 

It is this positive disposition that earned the team an award at gsport’s Annual List of Newsmakers event on Friday, 1 December, as one of ten recipients after booking their ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics, and doing their part to Close the Visibility Gap.

In Dubai, the day’s action got underway with a mammoth clash against top side New Zealand and it was a game the Bok women might have lost badly, but they gave their all, narrowly going down 19-14. 

Nadine Roos scored the opening try for South Africa in the 4th minute, but the Kiwis were quick to respond as Mahina Paul got over the try-line. The match turned out to be a tit-for-tat affair as Maria Tshiremba put the Bok women back in the lead, and then Jasmin Felix got New Zealand in front again. However, an upset was not meant to be, as a last-gasp try by Sarah Harini sealed the 19-14 victory for the Kiwis. 

The second match of the day ran along a similar script for Renfred Dazel’s team, as they narrowly went down 21-17 to Fiji. Seven tries were scored in this match with the island nation getting the first points of the game, but it was again Tshiremba who got on the board for the Bok women, bagging two tries in this match. Uncharacteristically, Roos’ boot let her team down, as she only managed to make one conversation. 

South Africa took on Great Britain and lost that match 17-5 in their final game of the day. Roos scored the only try of the game for the Bok Women, while their opponents dotted down three tries to take the win. The loss also means next week’s hosts will finish bottom of Pool A.

The final game of the day was an action-packed affair as Fiji took a 7-0 lead against New Zealand but the Black Ferns turned on the pressure to secure a 29-21 win. Australia and France were unbeaten on Saturday, and will progress to the quarter-finals of the competition. 

The Sevens Series heads to Cape Town next week where the teams will do battle from 9-10 December 2023. 

Day 1 Results at the HSBC Dubai SVNS, at the Sevens Stadium, on 2 December, 2023: 

USA 27-0 ESP
FRA 29 -0 CAN
AUS 39 – 0 BRA
IRE 35-7 JPN
NZL 19 – 14 RSA
FIJI 38 -17 GBR
FRA 28 -7 ESP
USA 10 – 15 CAN
IRE 19 – 14 BRA
AUS 66 – 0 JPN
FIJI 21 – 17 RSA
NZL 43 – 7 GBR
CAN 38 -12 ESP
USA 5 – 38 FRA
JPN 12 -14 BRA
AUS 33-5 IRE
GBR 17-5 RSA
NZL 29-21 FIJI

Sunday’s Quarter-Final Fixtures (All times are CAT)

7:30 AM – NZL v BRA
7:52 AM – IRE v CAN
8:14 AM – FRA v FIJI
8:36 AM – USA v AUS

9th/10th Playoff :

11:20 AM -GBR v JAP 
11th/12th Playoff:11:42 AM – RSA v ESP


Photo caption: The Springbok Women’s Sevens weren’t able to get a win on day one of the Dubai tournament at the Sevens Stadium on 2 December 2023, but the team can take heart from their performances. Photo: Women’s Boks on X

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