Bok women back at elite table
After years of slow progress the Springbok Women’s team took a major step in their advancement by qualifying for the 2021 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.
After missing out on qualification for the 2017 event in Ireland‚ South Africa refocused their goals on reaching the showpiece in two years’ time.
A 39-0 victory against Kenya in the deciding match of the qualifiers at the Bosman Stadium in Brakpan on Saturday ensured qualification.
The win marked a clean sweep for the Springbok Women in the competition and secured maximum points from their three matches following 89-5 and 73-0 victories against Uganda and Madagascar respectively earlier in the tournament.
“I am very pleased for the players‚ they worked very hard to achieve this. They put in a great effort and they deserve this achievement‚” a delighted coach Stanley Raubenheimer said.
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He was pleased with the quality of his team’s performance throughout the qualifiers‚ but he said there was room for improvement as they prepare to face Spain once and Scotland twice in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town respectively in September and October.
“We scored a number of tries in our three matches in this tournament‚ so we are on the right track in that regard‚” said Raubenheimer.
“But I think we can improve on our accuracy on attack‚ and I also think we need to work on our defence and kicking game. The good thing is that we will be able to work on those areas in the next few matches.”
Raubenheimer drew comfort from the fact that he had close to two years to prepare his team for the international showpiece down-under‚ and said: “It will certainly helps to qualify so well in advance.
“We didn’t participate in the 2017 World Cup‚ so we need to ensure that we reach the current world standards.
“The matches will also offer us an opportunity to experiment against quality teams‚ who are among the top 10 sides in Europe‚ and we can also try a few new things against them.”