The Springbok Women Sevens team will be looking to regroup on Sunday at the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament in Moscow, after failing to progress into the Cup quarterfinals.
Defeats to Australia (36-0) and Ireland (12-5) overshadowed the win against China (19-7), with the defeat to the Irish the real blow to the side who made the semi-finals of the 2009 World Cup.
The SA Women will now play Fiji in the Bowl quarter-final at 10h06 (South African time).
“It is disappointing that we will be contesting the second tier of the competition. If our second try against Ireland was awarded instead of being disallowed, we could have been in the Cup section. This is how small the margins are at this level,” Springbok Women Sevens coach Denver Wannies said afterwards.
He lamented the injury of experienced playmaker, Lorinda Brown, in the early match of the day against Ireland.
Brown had a hand in the opening try to Yolanda Meiring, but was forced off the field with a broken leg shortly afterwards.
“Her injury robbed us of composure in defence and attack and forced us to go to the more inexperienced players on the bench. But we still needed to execute much better in all our matches, especially at the breakdowns. I am disappointed in the way we played in that phase,” Wannies said.
After Meiring scored against the Irish, the European side dotted down just before and after the break, with the latter proving to be the clincher. A try by Phumzile Gadu was disallowed and with that, the result went the wrong way.
Against China, Gadu and Meiring crossed the line after good work by team mates on their inside and there was real hope that they could beat Australia to progress into the Cup quarters.
The defending champions exploited some weak defence by the South Africans though and in the end, scored a number of well-worked tries.
“We still have a lot to play for and I hope the players can regroup and come back strong in the morning. We are all very proud to be here at this World Cup, so would like to prove that we can deliver the goods on Sunday,” Wannies said.