South Africa lost their crucial Cup quarterfinal match 17-12 in extra-time against Australia at the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series tournament in Houston late on Saturday evening (SA time) and then struggled to find their form in their two other matches.
The second round of the WSWS was won by England, who defeated the United States 29-12 in the Cup final.
South Africa, who were surprised finalists in Dubai in December, lost all three matches on Saturday and their eighth placed finish earned them six log points, which now mean they share fourth spot overall with Russia on 24 points after two rounds.
In their first outing of the day, Mandisa Williams and her SA team held the skilful Australians to 12-all at the end of normal playing time, but their Cup semi-final ambitions were shattered when Ili Batisbasaga scored to clinch the match for the Aussies in extra-time.
Zenay Jordaan and Natasha Hofmeester scored the SA tries while Yolanda Meiring slotted one conversion. Shontelle Stowers and Ellia Green were the other Aussie try scorers.
South Africa then faced Russia in the Plate semi-final, but they failed to score any points and were defeated 20-0. This meant a play-off for seventh place against Canada, who outplayed them (33-0).
Afterwards, a disappointed SA coach Denver Wannies said the quarterfinal loss against Australia had a big impact on his team. “That defeat was a huge mental blow for us and although the girls tried hard against Russia and Canada, they could not get going against two very physical teams.
“They learnt some valuable lessons because the other teams got stuck into us from the beginning and never allowed us any time to use our pace out wide. It was a disappointing event for us but they are a hardworking and talented group of girls and I am sure they will bounce back next time,” said Wannies.
The IRB Women’s Sevens World Series resumes in China on 30-31 March.
The Women’s Sevens World Series standings after two rounds:
1. New Zealand 34 points
2. Australia 30
3. England 28
4. Russia 24
South Africa 24
IRB Women’s Sevens World Series:
Round 1 - UAE: Dubai, 30 November-1 December 2012 - 7he Sevens (winners: New Zealand)
Round 2 – USA: Houston, Texas, 1-2 February 2013 - BBVA Compass Stadium (winners: England)
Round 3 – China: Guangzhou, 30-31 March 2013 - Guangzhou University Town Stadium
Round 4 – Netherlands: Amsterdam, 17-18 May 2013 - NRCA Stadium