Confident Springbok Women side await Barbarians
SPOTLIGHT: The way the Springbok Women – and especially their pack of forwards – rallied when under severe pressure made their hard-fought victory over the San Clemente Rhinos very rewarding.
That is the view of Springbok Women assistant coach Franzel September after they beat the Rhinos by 22-17 in difficult conditions in Cape Town on Tuesday. He added that the final team selection for the WXV tournament next month will be tough.
“The most important thing for us was that everyone in the wider group had an opportunity to play and show what they can do,” said September.
“Some players certainly showed they want to be here for a long time. The guts they showed will make it tough when it comes to the final squad selection, as the players showed they really want to be part of the road forward.”
The Springbok Women were leading by 22-3 at the break, but they went off the rails in the second half, with several handling errors and poor discipline that resulted in three yellow cards. To make matters worse, they were down three players at once stage when injuries took their toll.
However, September was pleased with the way in which the forward kept themselves in the fight.
“We embraced the challenge and even wanted more and that type of desire is heartwarming to any coach. It will be a tough call to make the final squad selection,” he said.
September said the positives of the performance was encouraging for the coaching team: “We played well in stages. We would set up several phases and then, partly due to the conditions, we made mistakes. But those are things we can fix.”
The team’s focus now shifts to the match against the Barbarians on Saturday. The clash against the famous club will be played at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.
“We are expecting them to play wide and expansive as they always do, but the lessons we learned will put as at ease that we will be okay if we stick to what makes us tick,” said September.
“We found a lot of belief. It was not the prettiest, but very effective. Every win brings confidence whether you get that in style or in a dog fight.”
The team for the Barbarians match will be announced on Thursday.