Bok Women claim Madagascar victory in Rugby Africa Women’s Cup

Bok Women claim Madagascar victory in Rugby Africa Women’s Cup
Bok women's fullback Byrhandre Dolf, who was recently called up from the Junior Boks, breaks out during South Africa's 87-0 win over Cameroon. Jakkie Cilliers (11) is in support. (Photo: Supplied: SA Rugby/Rugby Africa).

The Springbok Women secured their place in the WXV 2 tournament after three convincing victories in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup held in Madagascar.

The Springbok Women claimed a thumping 79-8 win over Madagascar on Sunday to make it three wins from three games in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in Madagascar.

The win also secured qualification to the newly formed WXV 2 tournament, which will be played in the Western Cape in October.

The win over Madagascar follows the Springbok Women’s impressive 48-0 win over Kenya last Wednesday, and their battering 87-0 victory over Cameroon a week prior.

South Africa proved their dominance over their neighbours as they lifted the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup at the Stade Maki in Antananarivo.

“We are grateful to Rugby Africa for the opportunity, it was a wonderful experience and to everyone involved, we can only lift our hats,” said interim head coach Louis Koen. 

“This tournament also allowed us to bring in some younger players and blood them in Test rugby. The tour and conditions over here also allowed the team to bond and that will benefit us going forward.”

The Springbok Women secured their place in the WXV 2 tournament after three convincing victories in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup in Madagascar. (Photo: Supplied by SA Rugby/Rugby Africa).

Depth tested 

Because all three Test matches were played within eight days of each other, the Bok Women’s depth was tested across the tournament, while the fresh face of hooker Luchell Hanekom debuted on Sunday.

“We were really tested, especially against Kenya in terms of physicality. And today, we had to play for 80 minutes against an opponent who really refused to give up. They really came for us and there will be a lot of sore bodies tonight,” said Koen.

“Madagascar played with real passion, and they had a huge crowd backing them. Despite the scoreline, we were really asked questions.” 

Koen said the team grew in terms of unity on the trip to Madagascar, a sentiment echoed by centre Chumisa Qawe, who captained the Bok Women on their three-match tour. 

“The team really stuck together and that was wonderful to see how we had each other’s backs on the field,” said Qawe, adding that their focus was not on winning the Cup, but rather to improve every game and become better as a squad.

“We really got stuck in for each other. I am very proud of the way we responded today.” 

“We focussed on our own game plan and how we wanted to play, and we improved a lot in those areas. There was lots of clarity and I want to thank the coaching staff for the way they prepared us for this tournament.

“The nice part of this is that we now have some sort of foundation to go forward into the next tournament.”

Excellent tour 

Libbie Janse van Rensburg – who scored 15 points in the victory over Madagascar to extend her points-scoring record for South Africa to 144 – had an excellent tour, shifting between fullback and flyhalf.

“To play three matches in eight days is tough on the body, but we stuck to our guns,” said Janse van Rensburg.

“We needed to play well to make sure we qualify for the WXV tournament at home, where we can create awareness and give some exposure to our sponsors as well, as they are really beneficial to our effort to grow the game and lift the profile of women’s rugby. We are also going to face tougher teams at WXV, but that is where we want to go as a team.”

Winger Nomawethu Mabenge finished the tournament as the leading point- and try-scorer  – with 30 points and six tries – aided by her four-try display against Kenya. DM


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