The Springbok Women’s Sevens team made it all the way to the final of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Qualifier, but found the final hurdle too steep, losing 31-14 to China.
South Africa earlier beat Wales and Kenya on their way to the final match of the event, which saw 12 teams battle it out for one spot in the 2018/19 World Series. Springbok Women’s Sevens coach, Paul Delport, congratulated China with their achievement and said they were the best team over the last two days of play.
“Good luck to them in the series, they will do well. For our team, I feel for the squad, as it was not due to a lack of trying. We were beaten by a better team in the final. It is tough, as we really wanted this and came up short at the same stage last year.”
Delport suggested a bigger squad to work with and more tournaments as potential moves to up the competitiveness of his squad.
“The reality is that every year we don’t play on the circuit, we are falling further behind, so this result was disappointing from that perspective as well.”
Against China, the South Africans started brightly when Unathi Mali picked up a loose pass and scored, with Zenay Jordaan adding the conversion to secure a 7-0 lead. The Chinese scored from the restart though and then capitalised on numerous loose passes from their opponents to keep the scoreboard ticking.
A good burst by Megan Comley resulted in another converted try and with three minutes to play, South Africa looked for a late comeback, trailing 14-24. It was not to be though, as China scored two more tries to secure a spot in the World Series in 2018/19.
Earlier, South Africa fringed Kenya 12-7 in the semis and beat Wales 26-0 in the quarterfinals.