SA Women brace for winner-takes-all 2021 World Cup qualifier

Cape Town - Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer has named his side for their winner-takes-all 2021 World Cup qualifying match against Kenya at the Bosman Stadium in Brakpan on Saturday. 

The winning side will book their place in the 2021 World Cup in New Zealand. 

The two changes to Raubenheimer’s starting team see Nqobile Mhlangu replace the injured Ayanda Malinga on the wing, while Sizophila Solontsi comes in at flanker for Lusanda Dumke, who moves to the bench in a rotational switch. 

The other change among the replacements was the inclusion of the versatile Vuyolwethu Maqolo, who fills the void left by Mhlangu. 

The Springbok Women and Kenya will enter the match undefeated after both sides won their first two matches with bonus points. The hosts, however, boast a superior points’ difference after registering convincing 89-5 and 73-0 victories against Uganda and Madagascar. 

Uganda and Madagascar will meet in the first match on Saturday at 13:00, with the Springbok Women taking on Kenya at 15:00.

Both matches will live streamed on https://livestream.com/baruchmedia/WomensRugby

“One of the changes were injury-enforced as Ayanda picked up a shoulder injury against Madagascar, and I felt that Lusanda has played a lot of rugby this year, so we decided to give Sizophila a chance in the starting team,” said Raubenheimer. 

“She has been working hard and deserves an opportunity to start.” 

Raubenheimer was wary of the threat Kenya posed and said: “They stated that they are coming here to qualify for the World Cup, so we are expecting them to deliver good set pieces and move the ball around. Hopefully we can counter whatever they throw at us, and be successful in doing so.” 

Raubenheimer, however, was confident that if his team stuck to their structures, they could qualify for the international showpiece, saying: “It will be important to dominate territory and possession, and be accurate in the execution of the game plan we have for them. If we do that well, I think things will go well for us.” 

Springbok Women’s team to face Kenya:

15 Eloise Webb (SA Rugby contracted), 14 Nqobile Mhlangu (KZN), 13 Zintle Mpupha (SA Rugby contracted), 12 Zinhle Ndawonde (KZN), 11 Snenhlanhla Shozi (Border), 10 Zenay Jordaan (SA Rugby contracted), 9 Tayla Kinsey (KZN), 8 Aseza Hele (Eastern Province), 7 Sinazo Mcatshulwa (Western Province), 6 Sizophila Solontsi (KZN), 5 Rights Mkhari (SA Rugby contracted), 4 Celeste Adonis (Boland), 3 Babalwa Latsha (captain, Western Province), 2 Lindelwa Gwala (KZN), 1 Yonela Ngxingolo (Border)

Substitutes: 16 Annique Geswind (Western Province), 17 Onako Jita (Boland), 18 Maxine Engelbrecht (Griquas), 19 Nomsa Mokwai (Western Province), 20 Lusanda Dumke (Border), 21 Mathrin Simmers (SA Rugby contracted), 22 Vuyolwethu Maqolo (Western Province), 23 Aphiwe Ngwevu (Border)

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