Disciplinary lapses at critical moments cost the Springbok Women’s Sevens team dearly in their ninth-place play-off against Spain as they went down by 19-7 in their final appearance at the HSBC Cape Town Sevens on Sunday.
Two of Spain’s three tries came after the Imbokodo conceded penalties – one of which led to a yellow card for Sizo Solontsi – while their third, late in the first half, was scored after sustained pressure in the SA 22.
But Paul Delport’s team grew in confidence throughout the tournament and deserve credit for never giving up and making life difficult for Spain when they had ball in hand, although they would have learnt some valuable lessons on defence and at the breakdowns.
Nadine Roos and Zenay Jordaan were again in great form on attack, and Liske Lategan made an immediate impact when she scored a great try down the left-hand touchline after coming on as a replacement for Meghan Phillips.
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Unfortunately, the Imbokodo – who finished 10th overall out of 12 teams – failed to win any of their games at the Cape Town Stadium, but the women will be richer for the experience of playing against core teams on the World Series, in front of their home fans, who cheered them on every inch of the way.
South Africa 7 (0) – Try: Liske Lategan. Conversion: Nadine Roos.
Spain 19 (12) – Tries: Barbara Pla, Olivia Fresneda, Patricia Garcia. Conversions: Garcia (2).
Four 2019 Junior Springbok World Rugby U20 Championship players and another 10 who travelled to Georgia with the SA U19 team in December were included in a 19-man squad invited to the first of four SA Rugby Academy alignment camps in Stellenbosch in February.
Isuzu Southern Kings coach Robbie Kempson believes this weekend’s Guinness PRO14 derby against the Toyota Cheetahs in Port Elizabeth is the ideal opportunity for his side to draw a line in the sand and show how much they have improved over the past six months.
Toyota Cheetahs captain Tian Meyer believes the pressure is on his side to return to the standards they have set themselves as a team ahead of this weekend’s Guinness PRO14 Rugby derby against the Isuzu Southern Kings.
Several challenges await the Springbok Sevens team at the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton this weekend, when the third tournament of 10 in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series kicks off early Saturday morning (SA time) at FMG Stadium Waikato.
Lukhanyo Am, who played an integral part in the Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok squad in 2019, has been appointed as the Cell C Sharks' captain for the 2020 Vodacom Super Rugby competition.
The HSBC World Sevens Series has become synonymous with all-out action, tries galore, big hits and watching some of the premier athletes in the game trying to outrun each other - all at breath-taking speeds.
The end goal for their 2019/20 season is the Olympic Games in Japan, but for the Blitzboks there are also some very real challenges and objectives in the coming months.
The experienced Jaco Peyper, along with AJ Jacobs, Rasta Rasivhenge and Marius van der Westhuizen are the four South African referees on the 12-man Vodacom Super Rugby referee panel for the 2020 season, SANZAAR confirmed on Monday.
After 71 tournaments in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, one could expect Blitzboks sweeper, Branco du Preez, to show some reluctance in boarding another intercontinental flight to yet another tournament on the other side of the world.
The DHL Stormers and Vodacom Bulls left the FNB Stadium pitch victorious on Sunday after they won their pre-season encounters at the popular second installment of Vodacom #SuperHeroSunday.
Vuyo Zangqa, the Isuzu Southern Kings’ Guinness PRO14 assistant coach, will step into the head coach role on Friday for the team’s friendly against the DHL Stormers in Knysna.