Springbok Women Stun Fiji and Brazil to Qualify for First HSBC SVNS Cup QF This Season

South Africa players celebrate Ayanda Malinga’s match winning try against Brazil on day two of the HSBC SVNS at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, California in the United States of America, on Saturday, 2 March, 2024. Photo: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

Saturday in Los Angeles was when and where months and months of meticulous training and planning met with ideal circumstances for two morale-boosting wins for the Springbok Women, who overcame Fiji and Brazil to reach the cup quater final stage on day two of the HSBC SVNS in California, the USA, on Friday, 2 March, 2024.

South Africa progressed to the HSBC SVNS Los Angeles knockouts for the first time this season after a surprise 19-7 victory over Fiji followed by a 10-7 victory over Brazil for two wins out of three in Pool A, and a knockout quarter final berth against hosts USA on Sunday.

Vancouver champions New Zealand took top spot in the pool after three wins from three, but the faltering Fijiana lost to both South Africa and Brazil to fall out of the knockout places.

Elsewhere, Australia waltzed to the summit of Pool B and hosts USA held off a lively Canada to top Pool C, the former facing Brazil in the next round with the USA facing South Africa. France will take on Canada and New Zealand face Ireland in the remaining quarter finals.

Pool A: King becomes all-time top scorer

New Zealand secured their spot in the quarter finals after a 40-0 demolition of Brazil, but Tyla King’s try stole the headlines as she moved beyond Canada’s Ghislaine Landry as the all-time leading point-scorer on the Women’s Series in HSBC SVNS history.

King crossed just before the break to add to scores from Portia Woodman-Wickliffe and a brace from Michaela Blyde, the latter completing a hat-trick of scores early in the second half.

Easily defeating Fiji 38-7, New Zealand secured top spot and a quarter final against Ireland.

There was an upset elsewhere in Pool A as South Africa beat Fiji 19-7. Heleina Young opened the scoring for Fiji to take a 7-5 lead into half time, however, that would prove to be Fiji’s only try of the game. Ayanda Malinga, Zintle Mpupha and Liske Lategan were the scorers for South Africa as they took all the points in hope of quarter final rugby.

That set up a decided between South Africa and Fiji for the second knockout spot, and while it was South Africa that came away with a 10-7 win after Nadine Roos and Ayanda Malinga dotted down, the losing bonus point for Brazil also saw them advance to their second consecutive quarter final, Fiji missing out.

Pool B: Australia qualify and Ireland sneak through

Maddison Levi scored her second hat-trick in as many matches as Australia cruised to a 46-5 victory over Japan in Pool A.

They had already score four as the half time whistle went, and three more after the break secured a dominant win to wrap up their spot in the knockouts.

A tighter affair against France saw Australia grab top spot, holding off a late French revival after Joanna Grisez’s try to win 17-14. Meanwhile, France secured their own place in the cup knockouts after a 21-5 victory over Ireland.

With a 26-12 win against Japan, Ireland had enough points to go through as next-best.

Pool C: Hosts beat Canada to top pool

Canada easily dispatched Spain by 31-0 in Pool C, going two from two to secure a spot in the next round. Five different scorers crossed for Canada as they kept Spain scoreless.

However the USA, themselves unbeaten after wins by 40-5 over Spain and 34-7 against Great Britain, would take top spot as they defeated their northern rivals by 19-22. In an exciting game the US took the lead through Sammy Sullivan and Alev Kelter, and while Canada hit back the hosts never relinquished their advantage, Kayla Canett sealing the win. 

Great Britain needed a five-point win against Spain for a chance at the quarters, but Spain led 14-7 lead at the break as they looked for their first win of the weekend.

GB needed 12 points and Jade Shekells gave them five with her try, Isla Norman-Bell adding two more with the conversion. Spain’s superb offloading game ripped the lead back as Marta Cantabrana Gil, but GB were within inches of taking the game to extra time after Alicia Maude scored late.

Original Copy: World Rugby, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: South Africa players celebrate Ayanda Malinga’s match winning try against Brazil on day two of the HSBC SVNS at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, California in the United States of America, on Saturday, 2 March, 2024. Photo: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

Photo 2 Caption: Bok Sevens captain Zintle Mpupha hugs Brazil’s Rafaela Zanellato after South Africa upset expectations to win the tie on day two. Photo: Mike Lee – KLC fotos for World Rugby

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