Springbok Women Cruise Home against Kenya at Africa Cup in Madagascar

Jakkie Cilliers on the charge through the Kenyan midfield, scoring scoring 23 points through a hat-trick of tries and four conversions in tricky conditions in South Africa’s second match at the African Rugby Cup played at Stade Makis in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Saturday, 4 May, 2024. Photo: SA Rugby

The Springbok Women comfortably won their second Rugby Africa Women’s Cup clash by 63-5 against Kenya on a windy day at Stade Makis in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Wednesday, 8 May, 2024.

The result keeps the Bok Women on course to defend their African title, and book their tickets to the 2025 Rugby World Cup in England.

While they were in control for most of the game at Stade Makis in Antananarivo, the Bok Women were solid rather than perfect, guilty of some over-eagerness at times as they gave away possession in Kenyan territory, and were also not as consistently dominant at set piece as they would have liked.

South Africa’s forwards carried with intent – with Lusanda Dumke (flanker) and Vainah Ubisi (lock) leading the charge – and the backs looked for space, although they were often stopped by desperate Kenyan defence.

Jakkie Cilliers stole the show with a great performance at outside centre, scoring 23 points through a hat-trick of tries and four conversions in tricky conditions.

Despite playing with the wind in the first half, the Bok Women struggled go get going, making unforced errors in the Kenyan half and not getting the normal consistent ascendancy with their set piece.

Dumke scored the first try, after a strong run from Aphiwe Ngwevu (inside centre), in the fifth minute, but it was the only highlight of the opening quarter of an hour for the South Africans.

They finally hit their stride in the 17th minute, when debutant wing Sikholiwe Mdletshe crashed over in the left corner for her first Test try, which came from a clever move from an attacking scrum.

Four minutes later Cilliers, whose goal kicking wasn’t as sharp as normal due to the swirling wind, went over on the other side of the field to make it 15-0, with Ngwevu again prominent.

Mdletshe and Cilliers repeated these tries with their second five-pointers in the 28th and 32nd minutes and, at 27-0, the South Africans were firmly in control.

Kenya didn’t roll over though and tested the Bok Women’s defence, and in the 36th minute Rose Otieno (prop) broke through a tackle or two to score for the East Africans.

But Ubisi had the final say in the first half as she powered her way over for South Africa’s sixth try, with Cilliers adding her second conversion to make it 34-5 at the break.

With the Bok Women introducing some fresh legs, Nomawethu Mabenge (right wing) wasted no time in the second half to grab her 14th try in her 18th Test before Cilliers made it a hat-trick to stretch South Africa’s lead to 46-5 after 10 minutes in the second stanza.

Lindelwa Gwala (replacement hooker) then scored her fourth and fifth maul tries of the campaign as the Bok Women’s pack took control of the clash, the first of which was converted by Cilliers from the sideline.

Mabenge had the last say when she scored her second try in the final minute of the Test to push the Bok Women past 60 points.

Scores in South Africa 63-5 Kenya 2024 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup Tie in Madagascar on Wednesday, 8 May, 2024

Springbok Women 63 (34) – Tries: Lusanda Dumke, Sikholiwe Mdletshe (2), Jakkie Cilliers (3), Vainah Ubisi, Nomawethu Mabenge (2), Lindelwa Gwala (2)
Conversions: Cilliers (4)

Kenya 5 (5) – Try: Rose Otieno


Original Copy: SA Rugby, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: Jakkie Cilliers on the charge through the Kenyan midfield, scoring scoring 23 points through a hat-trick of tries and four conversions in tricky conditions in South Africa’s second match at the African Rugby Cup played at Stade Makis in Antananarivo, Madagascar, on Saturday, 4 May, 2024. Photo: SA Rugby

Photo 2 Caption: Bok Women’s Sikholiwe Mdletshe added 10 points to South Africa’s total when she to dotted down twice on debut. Photo: SA Rugby

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