The SA Women Sevens team gave a significant step towards qualification for the next Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament with a convincing 40-5 win over Uganda in the final of the Confederation of African Rugby (South) tournament in Botswana on Sunday.
South Africa and Uganda will now meet the winners of the North section to determine which two teams will represent Africa at the next RWC Sevens showpiece in Russia in 2013. Kenya claimed third sport after defeating Zimbabwe 17-0 in their play-off match.
Denver Wannies, the SA coach, said he was delighted with the outcome because it was his team’s first outing since the Rugby World Cup two years ago in Dubai.
“You can train as much and as hard as you want but the real test is in playing the actual matches. We don’t get much opportunities to play but I am delighted the by commitment shown by the players. The key for us now would be to keep our momentum for the Dubai tournament in December,” explained Wannies.
The teams to compete in Dubai in December are the reigning Sevens world champions Australia, the USA, Canada, England, Brazil, China, Spain and South Africa.
Mandisa Williams, the South African captain, said the team was determined to make the most of their limited playing opportunities.
“We obviously need more matches if we want to be able to compete against the likes of New Zealand, the European teams, the USA and Canada. For now, our focus was to win the tournament and secure our spot for the playoffs, which we did. We are all excited about the prospects of playing in Dubai later in the year,” said Williams.
Williams led her troops from the front again and she was well assisted by Thami Faleni amongst the forwards. Playmaker Zenay Jordaan showcased her excellent skills with a good overall performance and she was deservedly crowned as Player of the Tournament after scoring 50 points over the two days.
The SA Sevens Women squad who did duty in Botswana: Yolanda Meiring (Blue Bulls), Lamla Momoti, Mandisa Williams, Nwabisa Ngxatu, Sinazo Nobele, Ziyanda Tywaleni (Border), Zandile Nojoko, Phumeza Gadu, Zenay Jordaan, Nomathamsanqa Faleni (Eastern Province), Onicca Moaga (SWD), Janine Felix (Western Province).
The team’s results in Botswana:
Day One: SA 32, Zambia 0; SA 37, Zimbabwe 5; SA 51, Rwanda 0.
Day Two: Semi-final: SA 10, Kenya 7; Final: SA 40, Uganda 5.