Bok Women on WXV 2: 'Massive for our team'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Springbok Women are embracing the opportunity to expose their brand of rugby as Friday’s WXV 2 opening clash against Scotland will be an important step towards gaining wider recognition.
For Springbok Women assistant coach Franzel September, the message to supporters turning up at the Danie Craven Stadium for the opening day of the inaugural WXV competition is to do so with an open mind.
“This is massive for our team and what we want to achieve in the future,” said September.
“You have to watch us play to get the feel of this squad. It is a fact that women’s rugby is growing very fast, and we are part of that growth on the world stage. We are still young in local terms though, but we are catching up.”
The former Boland Kavaliers coach is new to the women’s game as well and understands the challenges the Springbok Women face to break into a new market and mindset.
“Unlike the men, some of our players have only started the game a couple of years ago and did not grow up with a rugby ball in hand, as many boys do,” said September.
“The more exposure young girls will get to the game, the more will be encouraged to play.
“How many young boys did not start their rugby dreams after attending a match with their parents at a young age? So please, bring your kids,” he urged.
Pulling crowds is one thing, but keeping their opponents under wraps on Friday will be another. The Scots are ranked eighth in the world and South Africa only 12th, so the challenge will be a physical one as well as a mental one, according to September.
“We will focus on our game,” he said. “We have been building nicely over the last couple of weeks and we have a clear understanding of what we need to do.
“The challenge will be to pitch up and execute against a well-organised side that are used to playing high-intensity rugby.
“We should stay in the moment and not allow the occasion to become too big. Scotland will stick to their guns, so our job will be to put them under enough pressure to give way.
“And of course, we need to make sure we use every opportunity we create. That has been something we were not consistent with over the last couple of matches we played, so the focus will be to get it right on Friday.”