Canada outclass SA Women in Nations Cup opener
August 03, 2011
The South African Women’s rugby team put up a spirited first half performance but was eventually outclassed by a far stronger Canadian team who scored a convincing 52-17 win in their Nations Cup match in Ontario, Canada. The four-nation tournament kicked off late last night (SA time).

The tournament hosts led 21-6 at halftime, but not before South Africa had provided them with a challenging opening 20 minutes.

In Tuesday’s other match, Women’s Rugby World Cup runners-up, England, delivered a strong performance to beat the United States 15-11.

Captain and No 8 Mandisa Williams scored the South African’s only try in the first half, while fullback Zandile Nojoko added four penalties.

Canada scored eight tries and six conversions.

South Africa plays powerhouse England on Friday evening while neighbours Canada and USA tackle each other in the day’s other fixture.

Denver Wannies, the SA Women’s coach, said he was encouraged by the opening spell in the first half but disappointed that his charged could not keep the stronger Canadians at bay during a lively first half.

“We are playing against top-ranked nations and this tournament will be great exposure for us. We started well and I am pleased we could get into good field positions, but we could not sustain it and that allowed Canada to build momentum.

“England will be an extremely tough match. They are playing regularly, have a good and settled team and they showed against the US they are the team to beat at the tournament,” said Wannies.

The match against Canada was the first outing for South Africa since the Women’s Rugby World Cup last August in England.