2 June 2014
The Springbok Women claimed a morale-boosting series victory over the Nomads, women’s rugby’s equivalent of the Barbarians, running out 32-24 winners in their second clash at Wasps Football Club in London on Tuesday.
In a lower scoring first clash, the Springbok Women won the first match between the team by 20 points to five on Saturday.
The South Africans ran in six tries to four on Tuesday, but it was the Nomads who were on the scoreboard first through prop Elisha Dee as they used their powerful forwards to set up the try.
First South African try
Absorbing the pressure exerted on them well, the Springbok Women moved out of defence with a solid clearance kick by fullback Siviwe Basweni, and wing Phumeza Gadu then showed her speed and moves to go over for the first try for the tourists.
Just three minutes later, flank Rachelle Geldenhuys crashed over for the team’s second try after gaining possession from a lineout.
Down by five points, the Nomads again used their forwards to try to force their way over the advantage line, but the Springbok Women stopped their drive, won a turnover, and then powered their way to the Nomads’ tryline before prop Nwabisa Ngxatu crossed for the South Africans’ third five-pointer of the contest.
Up on the scoreboard, the Bok Women were soon down on the field, reduced to 14 players after prop Cebisa Kula was sin-binned for playing the ball from an offside position at a ruck. Taking advantage of their numerical advantage, the Nomads hit back through flank Tess Forburg, who crossed for a try, which reduced South Africa’s lead to 15-12 shortly before half time.
After the break, the Springbok Women hit back hard with an early try to talented centre Veroeshka Grain, who capitalised on an overlap out wide after flyhalf Zandile Nojoko drew in two defenders, to increase the visitors’ lead to 20-12.
With both teams playing to their strengths, the last 30 minutes proved to be thrilling as the sides scored a series of tries to keep the scores close until the end.
Zoe Saynor of the Nomads crashed over the chalk from a rolling maul to leave the Springbok Women only three points ahead with 17 minutes left, but Lawrence Sephaka’s charges responded with a well-deserved try to flank Vuyolwethu Vazi after taking the ball through several phases.
The Nomads again retaliated with a try by Lisa Campbell in the last 10 minutes to trail 27-24, but Springbok Women’s XV captain Lamla Momoti sealed the 32-24 victory with two minutes left on the clock after another fantastic break up-field by her team.
While the South Africans exhibited a big improvement in the set scrums, Springbok Women’s coach Lawrence Sephaka will continue to work on the set piece as France, who South Africa face on Friday in Marcoussis, is also a forward-dominated team. Work will also be done on the defence after four tries were conceded against the Nomads.
Williams withdrawn from tour
Meanwhile, before Tuesday’s match, Springbok Women’s captain Mandisa Williams was withdrawn from the tour because of a knee injury so that she can undergo rehabilitation in South Africa before the Rugby World Cup, which starts on 1 August.
“It was a tough call to make, but we believe Mandisa’s rehabilitation is more important than supporting her team on tour as she has been ruled out for the test against France on Friday as well,” said coach Sephaka.
“Our main goal this season is to perform well at the World Cup, and this decision was taken with that in mind.
“We wish Mandisa well during her recovery in the next few weeks and we look forward to welcoming her back fully fit at the World Cup holding camp in Cape Town on July 14.”