More updates to follow...
South Africa will play Australia in the Cup quarterfinals in Houston, the venue for round two of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.
The South Africans dropped pool B results against Canada (24-12) and the USA (22-19) but scored a convincing 27-0 win over Argentina early in the day to make in into the top eight.
In the match against the USA, the hosts had a 17-0 lead in the last quarter, but South Africa scored three quick tries to lead 19-17 with just seconds left. USA’s Kelly Griffin skipped past a few defenders to score on the fulltime whistle and to send the crowd into raptures.
The Quarter-Finalists are:
England v Netherlands
Canada v New Zealand
United States v Russia
Australia v South Africa
Round two of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series kicks off late on Friday evening (SA time) in Houston, Texas in the USA and South Africa will be looking to build on their good display during the opening tournament in Dubai.
The South Africans are one of 12 international sides from six continents who will compete at the BBVA Compass Stadium on 1-2 February.
Having performed courageously in reaching the final in Round one in Dubai, South Africa start in Houston as the second seeds. They line up in Pool B and face the daunting challenge of both North American heavyweights, hosts USA and Canada, as well as the improving Argentineans, now under the coaching eye of the Sevens game’s all-time leading men’s try-scorer, Santiago Gomez Cora.
Denver Wannies, the SA Women’s Sevens coach, said his team worked hard the past few weeks in preparation of a tough pool challenge in Houston.
“Our aim will be to strive for consistency and to convert the many chances we create into points. We have good speed out wide and the key for us will be our ability to contest for possession up front,” explained Wannies.
For South Africa, players such as Phumeza Gadu (wing) and Zenay Jordaan (flyhalf) are some of the new crop of rising stars on the Women’s Sevens scene and if the SA forwards can hold their own against the physical USA and Canada, then they will again pose a huge threat.
Log leaders New Zealand are top seeds in Pool A, which also consist of England, the Netherlands, and Trinidad & Tobago. In the final pool Australia face Russia, South American champions Brazil and Asian newcomers Japan.
The SA Sevens Women squad to play in Houston, USA:
1. Yolanda Meiring (Blue Bulls)
2. Mandisa Williams (Border, captain)
3. Nwabisa Ngxatu (Border)
4. Sinazo Nobele (Border)
5. Nosiphiwo Goda (Border)
6. Fundiswa Plaatjie (Border)
7. Zenay Jordaan (Eastern Province)
8. Phumeza Gadu (Eastern Province)
9. Natasha Hofmeester (Western Province)
10. Belle Makwezele (Western Province)
11. Zaandre Theron (Western Province)
12. Mathrin Simmers (Southwestern Districts)
IRB Women’s Sevens World Series
Round 1 – UAE: Dubai, Nov 30 – December 1, 2012 – 7he Sevens Stadium (winners - NZ, runners-up SA)
Round 2 – USA: Houston, Texas, 1-2 Feb, 2013 - BBVA Compass Stadium
Round 3 – China: Guangzhou, 30-31 Mar 2013 - Guangzhou University Town Stadium
Round 4 – Netherlands: Amsterdam, 17-18 May 2013 - NRCA Stadium
Current Standings after Round 1:
1. New Zealand 20 points
2. South Africa 18
3. Spain 16
4. Australia 14
5. Russia 12
The SA pool schedule for Friday in Houston (SA times):
SA vs. Argentina 22h32
SA vs. USA 01h15
SA vs. Canada 04h22