The Springbok Women’s Sevens team suffered three disappointing defeats on Day One of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series opener in Dubai, losing their pool A matches against New Zealand, USA and France.
The South Africans were outmuscled in their opening match against the leading team in the world, losing 40-0 to New Zealand. They seemed set to beat USA, leading with the last play of the match, but the American side scored a long range try that sealed South Africa’s fate with a 19-15 win.
In their last match on Day One, the Springbok Women’s Sevens could not handle the physicality of France and were outplayed 31-5.
Coach Renfred Dazel still saw some positives in their performances and is looking to a better showing on Day Two of the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens.
“We need these tournaments, seeing that we are not a core member on the circuit, because you can only improve if you play the best teams in the world. We had three tough matches lined up, but the learning curve was steep. New Zealand smashed us and France also won easily, but I thought we had the match in the bag against USA, only for them to score that late try,” Dazel said.“We are not down though. We are here to learn and improve, especially with the end goal in mind, playing at the Commonwealth Games and Rugby Sevens World Cup next year. We need to keep improving and we can only do so if we learn from matches like these.”
Dazel was pretty pleased that they suffered no injuries and that a player like Marithy Pienaar came back from injury without a problem.
“We have another opportunity tomorrow to play against core teams. We must use that to learn and grow. There are positives, but also lots to work on. We have a good opportunity tomorrow.”
New Zealand 40, South Africa 0
USA 19, South Africa 15
France 31, South Africa 5