The Springbok Women’s Rugby World Cup hopefuls will be determined to make their mark in the fourth round of Section One in the SARU Women’s Interprovincial Series on Saturday in an attempt to impress national coach Lawrence Sephaka before he finalises his squad for tournament.
The Springbok Women’s Rugby World Cup squad will be announced in the next two weeks, and with the trial matches completed, the players will view the last two rounds of Interprovincial pool matches in this section as a final opportunity prove that they deserve to be in the group of 26 players heading to France.
Adding to the significance of Saturday’s matches, the drive to secure semifinal spots and possibly home semifinals will increase the motivation among all six teams to register victories.
Western Province and KwaZulu-Natal will kick off the weekend’s matches at City Park Stadium in Cape Town at 13h00 on Saturday, while Border and the Blue Bulls will meet in Pretoria, and Eastern Province will line up against SWD at the Humansdorp Country Club at 14h00.
With home-ground advantage and the inclusion of several national players counting in Western Province’s favour, they will enter the clash as favourites. They will also be driven by the desire to secure a semifinal spot as they are currently in fourth place on the log, five points ahead of the winless KwaZulu-Natal and six points ahead of SWD respectively.
One of the key players in the KwaZulu-Natal team is expected to be scrumhalf Tayla Kinsey, whose effective distribution and accurate goal-kicking has made her a key a player, while experienced captain Dolly Mavumengwana will offer the guidance the team needs as they go in search of their first victory of the season.
Border, meanwhile, will be hunting their fourth successive victory when they take on the Blue Bulls on the Loftus Versfeld B field, and while they will enter the clash as favourites on form, they may have to work hard for a victory as the Blue Bulls are determined to build on their 59-9 victory against SWD two weeks ago.
Talented lock Nolusindiso Booi will lead a strong Border team, which features several star players including Asithandile Ntoyanto, Nwabisa Ngxatu and Fundiswa Plaatjie. But the Blue Bulls, with the likes of Yolanda Meiring and Shona-Leah Weston leading their charge, will be highly motivated to register their first victory at home this season. The forward battle, in particular, is expected to be one of the key areas for both teams, but both sides also boast dangerous backs.
In Humansdorp, Eastern Province who are also unbeaten this season, will back themselves to beat SWD, who have leaked 24 tries in their three matches up to now, while only scoring only two. Another victory for the Port Elizabeth-based team will also allow them to remain hot on Border’s heels on the log standings.
SARU Women’s Interprovincial Round Four Fixtures, on 7 June 2014: 13h00: Western Province vs KwaZulu-Natal. City Park Stadium, Cape Town 14h00: Blue Bulls vs Border, Loftus Versfeld B Field, Pretoria 14h00: Eastern Province vs South Western Districts, Humansdorp Country Club Results of the SARU Women’s Interprovincial Tournament: 10 May: Blue Bulls 24-26 Eastern Province 10 May: Border 43-3 KwaZulu-Natal 10 May: Western Province 55-3 South Western Districts 26 April: Eastern Province 15-12 Western Province 26 April: KwaZulu-Natal 7-35 Blue Bulls 25 April: South Western Districts 8-37 Border 24 May: South Western Districs 5-59 Blue Bulls 24 May: Border 34-3 Western Province 24 May: KwaZulu-Natal 10-13 Eastern Province
Photo Caption: The drive to secure semifinal spots and – possibly even home semifinals – increases the motivation among all six rugby teams to register victories in this weekend’s SARU Women’s Interprovincial Series Round Four fixtures. Photo: sarugby.co.za
(With editing by gsport)