9 September 2013
The Springbok women’s rugby team booked their place in the 2014 IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup in style by thumping Uganda 63-3 at the Buffalo City Stadium in East London on Saturday.
The win was the biggest yet in the history of the SA women’s team and confirmed their status as the top side on the African continent.
Next year’s World Cup in France will mark South Africa’s third successive appearance in the international showpiece.
The Springbok women’s aim was to put pressure on the visitors from early on and they succeeded in doing just that. Captain Mandisa Williams and company were particularly effective at stretching Uganda’s defence and finding space out wide, which allowed them to run riot on attack.
Centre Mathrin Simmers scored the first of the team’s 11 tries in the opening 10 minutes to signal their intent early on. She was set up by flyhalf Zenay Jordaan, who spotted numbers out wide and threw a long pass to Simmers, who outsprinted a few defenders to cross the try line.
Right wing Marlien Cronje inflicted further damage four minutes later as she fought off three defenders after collecting a pass from inside centre Daphne Scheepers and used her speed to cross for the team’s second try and a 12-0 lead.
Leaked another try
Uganda continued to struggle under the pressure applied by the hosts and leaked another try, with Dolly Mavumengwana diving over for a five-pointer after the forwards had powered their way to within metres of Uganda’s line.
Fullback Zandile Nojoko and flyhalf Zenay Jordaan, the team’s general, took the team’s try tally to five, which increased their lead to 29-0, and left the Ugandans in a deep hole.
The visitors, however, did not give up hope and used their powerful forwards to force their way into the home team’s 22, but the hard work South Africa had put in under the watchful eye of defence consultant Jacques Nienaber paid off as they managed to shut the East Africans out.
As if trailing by a big margin were not tough enough, Ugandan lock Evenlyne Aweku then received a yellow card for playing the ball from an offside position at a ruck.
The Springbok women started the second half as urgently as they had begun the first, with Nojoko crossing the try line for a second time just minutes after the restart, thanks to a long pass from Jordaan, which set Nojoko free.
The try festival continued with left wing Natasha Hofmeester dotting down the ball, followed by Border prop Asithandile Ntoyanto, who scored two tries in quick succession on debut.
The visitors tried hard to plug the gaps in their defence, and they succeed in doing so for a few minutes, but South Africa kept applying pressure until Marlien Cronje went over for her second try.
Uganda put together determined effort on attack to retain possession for long periods, and it finally allowed them to work their way into SA’s 22. But with the Springboks denying them from getting a sniff of the try line, Racheal Babirye opted to kick for posts after being awarded a penalty, which allowed the visitors to score their first and only points of the match.
SA, however, finished off the match on a high note when flank Nwabisa Ngxatu ran in the team’s 11th try to secure the team a 60-point victory and the biggest winning margin in history in the history of the Springbok women’s team.
Springbok Women: 63 (29) – Tries: Mathrin Simmers, Marlien Cronje (2), Dolly Mavumengwana , Zandile Nojoko (2), Zenay Jordaan, Natasha Hofmeester, Asithandile Ntoyanto (2), Nwabisa Ngxatu. Conversions: Zenay Jordaan, Zandile Nojoko (2), Marnazelle Rabie
Uganda: 3 (0) – Penalty: Racheal Babirye
SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby