SA Qualifies for Oz Youth Olympics Sevens Quarters

Australian Youth Olympics Festival logoAfter a poor start blamed on nerves in, the South African Under-18 Women’s Sevens rugby team finished the first day of the sevens competition of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival ranked fourth overall, held at the St Ignatius College on Friday morning in Sydney (SA time).

The SA U18 Women’s team, playing in their first-ever overseas tournament, qualified for a quarterfinal match against Japan on Saturday.

Featuring a young team consisting of mostly Under-16 players, the SA team stumbled in their first two matches, losing 32-0 against Japan and 52-7 against Australia, before bouncing back to register their first win of the day against Tonga (38-0).

The junior women’s team went on to win their final group match against China in spectacular style to finish fourth on the overall log, and will have a second chance against Japan on Saturday in the playoffs for semi-final spot.

Bonakele Sibiya of the Golden Lions created a bit of local history when she became the first player to score a try for the SA U18 Women on foreign soil. Her effort was South Africa’s only reply in their 52-7 loss against tournament host and favourites, Australia.

Denver Wannies, the SA Under-18 Women’s coach, said afterwards his team was overwhelmed by the occasion, but that they managed to regain some composure, resulting in a morale-boosting win over Tonga.

“This tournament is the first overseas experience for our young team, and they were overawed in the first two games,” explained to Wannies.

“Our concentration was much better in our third match against Tonga. Tomorrow we have a good chance to test ourselves against a very skillful Japan team.”


The SA Under-18 Women’s Results on Day 1 of the Australian Youth Olympics Festival, in Sydney, Australia, on Friday, 18 January, 2013:
SA 0-32 Japan
SA 7-52 Australia
SA 38-0 Tonga
SA 41-0 China
The SA Women’s Under-18 Sevens Squad:
Ntsako Faith Tshauke (Blue Bulls)
Micaela Witbooi (Boland)
Kirsten Conrad (Boland)
Lusanda Dumke (Border)
Simamkele Namba (Border)
Asisipho Dotwana (Border)
Bonakele Sibiya (Golden Lions)
Mandy Mhlongo (KwaZulu-Natal)
Christal Williams (South Western Districts)
Atheana Botha (South Western Districts)
Kimico Manuel (Western Province)
Tatum Daniels (Western Province)


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