Tough Friendly vs Samoa Ends in 17-All Draw in Hermanus

The Bok Women won an early advantage before raising their game to record a 17-all draw in the last of the WXC 2 tournament warm-up series of matches the South Africans have endured, the island team having capitalised on the hosts’ match play errors. Photo: SA Rugby on X

A tough Test between the Springbok Women and Manusina Samoa ended in a 17-17 draw (half-time 10-10) on an overcast Saturday afternoon in Hermanus, where the home team scored three tries to two.

It was a proper hit-out for both team less than a week before WXV 2 kicks off, but the Bok Women would not have been happy with a number of silly penalties and unforced errors conceded, while their discipline also let them down at times during the match.

Although their defence was mostly on point, the South Africans struggled to contain the big Samoan ball carriers at times, while they were also left perplexed by some of the referee’s calls, especially at the breakdowns.

Despite dominating upfront for most of the first half, the South Africans made a couple of costly mistakes. They scored two good tries in the first 20 minutes, by Veroeshka Grain (centre) and team captain Babalwa Latsha (prop), but it could have been more.

Furthermore, they allowed the Samoans to fight back from 10-0 to tie the scores at 10-10 at the break.

Grain’s try, in the sixth minute, came after a Bok maul was held up in-goal and from the resulting goal-line drop-out, the South Africans attacked wide to where a pin-point pass by Libbie Janse van Rensburg (flyhalf) found the speedster for the first points of the game.

Shortly after losing fullback Byrhandre Dolf for a head knock, Latsha crashed over from a strong rolling maul in the 19th minute, but sadly for the South Africans, that was the last time they bothered the scorers in the first half.

Janse van Rensburg went over but was ruled to have stepped out before dotting down, while there was also a knock-on in the process of scoring a try.

Credit to Samoa though, as they clawed their way back into the game through a 24th minute penalty goal by flyhalf Cassie Siataga, which was followed late in the half by a try by Olalini Tafoulua (lock) after a strong attack up the middle of the field. Siataga’s conversion levelled the scores.

Samoa took the lead two minutes after the break when Allison Futialo (wing) crashed over after a good attacking build-up, with Siataga’s conversion making it 17-10.

At this stage, the visitors looked to be in control, but credit to the South African replacements, who managed to turn the tide.

When Samoa lost their No 8, Nina Foaese, to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle in the 52nd minute, the Bok Women used their numerical advantage to work Maceala Samboya (wing) over in the corner for a try in her debut Test. Janse van Rensburg was on target for the first time in the match to level the scores again at 17-17.

Samoa played most of the rugby late in the match, with the Bok Women’s defence holding firm to force the draw, despite losing Samboya to a yellow card late in the match.

Final Result of the Springbok Women vs Manusina Samoa International Friendly, in Hermanus in the Western Cape on Saturday, 7 October, 2023 

Scorers:

Springbok Women 17 (10) – Tries: Veroeshka Grain, Babalwa Latsha, Maceala Samboya. Conversion: Libbie Janse van Rensburg.

Manusina Samoa 17 (10) – Tries: Olalini Tafoulua, Allison Futialo. Conversions: Cassie Siataga (2). Penalty goal: Siataga.


Main Photo Caption: The Bok Women won an early advantage before raising their game to record a 17-all draw in the last of the WXC 2 tournament warm-up series of matches the South Africans have endured, the island team having capitalised on the hosts’ match play errors. Photo: SA Rugby on X

Photo 2 Caption: Centre Veroeshka Grain opened scoring in the final WXV 2 tournament warm-up match, crossing the line for a delightful try in the sixth minutes of the match in Hermanus. Photo: SA Rugby

Photo 3 Caption: Bok flyhalf Libbie Janse van Rensburg set up the initial Grain try with a pin point pass, and came to the rescue in the match’s dying minutes to level the scores for a 17-all drawn tie. Photo: SA Rugby

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