The Springbok women battled to build on their encouraging performances in the opening two matches of the Nations Cup in the USA in the early hours of Thursday morning as they suffered a disappointing 53-17 defeat against Canada in their final round-robin match.
The team will face the USA in the third and fourth place playoff on Saturday, while Canada and England booked their places in the final in a repeat of the 2011 spectacle.
Canada dominated the clash from the outset and ran in the first of their four first-half tries in the seventh minute as they used their pace out wide and strong running on attack to breach SA’s defensive line. Such was the effectiveness of their attack they built up a handy 19-0 lead.
But SA bounced back with a try by right wing Marlien Cronje in the 22nd minute following a clever kick by flyhalf Zenay Jordaan.
Canada bounced back with their third try, but the Springbok Women showed their fighting spirit, with the forwards and backs combining well which set up Jordaan up to dash to the tryline for another five-pointer, and a 24-10 deficit at the break.
Unfortunately for Mandisa Williams and her team a combination of missed try-scoring opportunities and Canada stepping up their game in the second half paved the way for the team to run in a further five tries to take their tally for the match to nine.
Jordaan, however, had the last say as she gathered the ball and used her raw pace to beat the defenders to the tryline for her second try of the match and reduce the deficit to 53-17.