12 August 2014
Springbok Women’s captain Zenay Jordaan on Monday called on her team to dig deep in their two final Women’s Rugby World Cup clashes to achieve their goal of improving on their 10th place finish in the 2010 showpiece.
Drawn in a very tough pool, coach Lawrence Sephaka’s charges suffered three big losses in their games, going down 3-26 to Australia, 3-55 to hosts and Six Nations champions France, and 3-35 to Wales. That has left them with a showdown against Samoa in their penultimate World Cup clash at the French Rugby Federation in Marcoussis on Wednesday.
Reward for victory
Should the South African team register a victory, they will secure a place in the ninth and tenth place playoff on the final day’s play on Sunday.
The Samoans, like South Africa, have struggled, doing down 3-65 to England, 7-42 to Canada, and 5-41 to Spain.
Jordaan admitted that the Springbok Women’s performances in the pool stages was disappointing, but she said they had to focus on winning their last two matches rather than dwelling on their results up to now.
Determined to win
“We have two matches left and we owe it to ourselves, the coaches and the country to win those games,” Jordaan said in Marcoussis.
“Unfortunately errors at crucial times and bad decision-making cost us in those matches, but we showed good signs on attack when we had possession and we created several point-scoring chances. This time, however, it is vital that we convert those chances into points. I have no doubt that if we had done this from the outset our results would have been much better.”
The team returned to the training field on Monday to prepare for the clash against Samoa after having Sunday off to recover from the Wales match, and Jordaan was pleased with the intensity of the training session and the team’s determination to salvage some pride in the tournament.
“The physical matches in the pool stages and the short turn-around time between them has definitely taken its toll on the players, but it is fantastic to see their commitment to continue fighting for victories,” she said.
“We may be ranked in the bottom four in the competition, but we have not given up. We will fight until the end and hopefully we could finish ninth in the competition, which would be an improvement on the 2010 World Cup.”