The Imbokodo put in a promising performance and played with intent, but they lack experience at the top level and failed to convert a few good opportunities as the Kiwi defence kept them under pressure.
Although the score board showed they won comfortably, it certainly wasn’t one-way traffic and the Imbokodo had the New Zealanders under pressure at times, with Nadine Roos and Zenay Jordaan leading the charge. Click here to see what Paul Delport had to say after the match.
But as soon as the South Africans made a mistake, they were punished – six times in the end.
The Imbokodo started very well and kept New Zealand pinned in their own half, but the tide turned after a yellow card for Sizo Solontsi and the Kiwis scored two quick tries, by Alena Saili and their captain Tyla Nathan-Wong.
Saili got her second just before the break and the Kiwi’s led by 21-0 at half time after the home team put in another good attacking move, but failed to break down the NZ defence.
Shiray Kaka scored the Kiwis’ fourth try in the first minute of the second half, with Gayle Broughton and Mahina Paul also adding their names to the score sheet as NZ claimed a comfortable win.
Jordaan said although the result was not what they wanted, it was an unbelievable feeling to run out in front of their home fans for the very first time.
“They really encouraged us with their support and that will bring us back tomorrow with new energy. We don’t want to disappoint those who are providing us with so much support," she said.
On Saturday, South Africa face Russia and Fiji in their last two Pool A matches.
South Africa – 0.
New Zealand 40 (21) – Tries: Alena Saili (2), Tyla Nathan-Wong, Shiray Kaka, Gayle Broughton, Mahina Paul. Conversions: Nathan-Wong (3), Risi Pouri-Lane (2).