The Springbok women suffered a heart-breaking 18-17 defeat against England in their second Nations Cup clash at the University of Northern Colorado in the USA on Sunday night with a late try denying them a victory.
The match was initially scheduled to take place on Saturday, but a tornado warning resulted in the match being postponed by a day.
The Springbok Women made an early statement with flyhalf and captain Zenay Jordaan leading by example as she crossed the tryline in the corner, with fullback Marnezelle Rabie converting for a 7-0 lead.
England replied in the 17th minute with a try under the posts to level the scores at 7-7.
But this was short-lived as Springbok lock Nolusindiso Booi made the most of a turnover from a kick-and-chase for the team’s second try and a 12-7 lead.
They built on this three minutes before half time with Jordaan breaking through two defenders to dash to the tryline for her second five-pointer.
Unfortunately for SA they again failed to convert, but they entered the break with an encouraging 17-7 lead.
England, however, produced a solid second-half display featuring a tighter defensive effort and reduced the gap to 17-13 compliments of two penalties.
With a victory in sight, England kept fighting and earned the winning try through a maul in the 73rd minute for an 18-17 lead.
Jordaan had a chance to reclaim the lead in the dying minutes with a penalty, but the attempt proved unsuccessful.
The Springbok Women will face Canada in their final league match on Wednesday, while the final and third and fourth-place playoff will take place on Saturday.
In the other match, the USA defeated Canada 29-17 for their second victory in the series.