Springbok women needed to prove their worth – coach

2012-06-25 12:14

Head coach Denver Wannies hopes the SA women’s rugby team has proved a point after winning their first match on local soil in four years at the weekend.

The Springbok women defeated a Nomads international invitation side 28-17 in Cape Town on Saturday.

“The players really wanted to make a statement and they did so,” Wannies said today.

“The team are aware of the perception out there that women should not be playing rugby, and that it’s all just a waste of time and money.

“They wanted to show that they are worthy of being called Springboks, and worthy of playing at the highest level.

“There was also a score to settle after losing to the Nomads the last time they were here.”

The SA side included five uncapped players and had to do without the services of regular skipper Mandisa Williams and veteran Zenay Jordaan in the tour opener.

Tries from four of their most experienced players – wings Phumeza Gadu and Natasha Hofmeester, flyhalf Zandile Nojoko and veteran lock Dolly Mavumengwana – and eight more points from the boot of Nojoko ensured that the Springbok women grabbed a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

During their last tour of South Africa, in 2008, the Nomads – currently consisting of players from New Zealand, Wales, England, Ireland, Scotland and Sweden – beat the Springbok women 2-0 in a two-match series.

Wannies praised the performances of Nojoko and fullback Yolanda Meiring, who was called out of retirement to stand in the last line of defence.

“With the likes of Mandisa and Zenay out injured, the rest of the players really stepped up and met the requirements,” he said.

“We have already spoken about not being complacent for the second match and want to make a clean sweep.”

The second match of the series will be played at Goodwood Rugby Club on Saturday.

The Nomads will also play a midweek match against Western Province at Langa Stadium tomorrow.

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