Photo: Springbok Women
The Springbok Women took on Spain on Friday, 19 August, at the Fanie du Toit Stadium, and wrapped up the Winter Series with a second comprehensive victory, giving them five wins from their last six games. And although I previously voiced my concerns about having the game during the workday, I obviously forgot to factor in the small matter of the game being held at the university – the stadium was packed, and the crowd was having an absolute blast!
The game started with the Springbok Women in control, despite playing into a pretty fierce wind, but Spain was not going to go down quietly this week. They certainly looked far more confident and competitive than they did last week at Emirates Airline Park, and the Springbok Women seemed to lose composure. They were not at their best, both in terms of defence and discipline, and the three yellow cards earned during the course of the game will give them, and coach Stanley Raubenheimer, something to think about.
Nomawethu Mabenge on the charge. Photo: Springbok Women
Nevertheless, they regrouped, and after Spain initially looked like they might run away with it, the scores were competitive at the break, with Spain holding a marginal four-point lead. After that, it was once again all about the South Africans, who held their opponents scoreless in the second half, much to the delight of the fans, ultimately winning 37-14. The five South African tries were scored by Roseline Botes, Sinazo Mcatshulwa, Nomawethu Mabenge, Nadine Roos, and Lusanda Dumke. Kicking conditions were arguable much tougher this week, given the wind, but nonetheless Zenay Jordaan slotted one conversion, while Libbie Janse van Rensburg was successful with two conversions, a penalty, and a drop goal.
This was the last game the women will play before the World Cup in October, and they now head into final preparations for that showpiece. Although they face an incredibly tough pool in New Zealand, it’s clear that they’ve been making great progress this year, and hopefully their impressive success rate, often against higher ranked teams, will provide a confidence boost. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they can deliver on the biggest stage.