Springbok Women’s captain Mandisa Williams was confident on Friday about her team’s chances of booking their place at the 2014 Rugby World Cup in France after concluding their preparations for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier against Uganda.
The match will be hosted at the Buffalo City Municipal Stadium, in East London, and kicks off at 15h00. The winner will earn the right to compete in the international spectacle, while the losing team’s hopes will be dashed completely.
The Springbok Women completed their on-field preparations on Friday with a high-tempo captain’s run and will spend the rest of the day relaxing and preparing themselves mentally for the match.
While Williams admitted that the nerves were beginning to settle in, she said the team was highly motivated to make their presence felt and secure a place in their third successive Women’s Rugby World Cup.
“We are excited about the match and about the fact that we are playing in East London where there is a deep passion for rugby,” said Williams, who will have the luxury of playing on her home ground. “The team realises that we need to qualify for the World Cup or we will face a drought in Women’s Rugby for the next five years, so we will do our best to achieve that.
“We have paid attention to detail in our preparation this week with the assistance of Rassie Erasmus (SARU GM High performance) and Jacques Nienaber (defence consultant), and the set pieces are looking good, so I believe we are ready for the match.”
Williams said two vital components in their mission for success would be for the senior players to lead by example and for the team to dominate early on.
“We have to start the match strongly to be successful, so we have placed a big emphasis on dominating the first 20 minutes especially,” said Williams. “This would require spending a lot of time in their half and placing them under pressure, as it is important that we remain on the front foot.”
The Springbok Women’s team to face Uganda at the Buffalo City Municipal Stadium, in East London (kickoff 15h00): 15. Zandile Nojoko 14. Marlien Cronjé 13. Mathrin Simmers 12. Daphne Scheepers 11. Natasha Hofmeester 10. Zenay Jordaan 9. Fundiswa Plaatjie 8. Mandisa Williams (capt) 7. Nwabisa Ngxatu 6. Vuyolwethu Vazi 5. Dolly Mavumengwana 4. Nolusindiso Booi 3. Asithandile Ntoyanto* 2. Thandi Xwetu 1. Laurian Johannes Replacements: 16. Denita Wentzel 17. Sinazo Tsawu* 18. Amanda Tshidi* 19. Andrea Mentoor 20. Lamla Momoti 21. Tayla Kinsey* 22. Veroeshka Grain 23. Marnazelle Rabie * marks players making their Test debuts.
(With editing by gsport)