Cape Town - The Springbok Women’s Sevens hopes of retaining their place
as a core team on the 2015/16 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series were dashed
on Sunday as Ireland defeated them 26-14 in the Cup semi-final at the World
Series Qualifier in Dublin.
South Africa registered their fourth victory in a row in
their opening game of the day as they defeated Hong Kong in the Cup quarter-final, but they went down against Ireland in the semi-final, which
denied them from qualifying for the World Series.
The team finished off the day
with a 12-0 victory against the Netherlands to finish the tournament in third
position, but this did little to ease the disappointment of losing out on a
World Series spot. Japan, meanwhile, joined Ireland as the second World Series
The Springbok Women’s Sevens started the day’s play with a
21-5 victory against Hong Kong, who they also met in the league stages.
Simmers opened up the scoring in the first half, while flyhalf Zenay Jordaan
converted to hand the team a 7-0 lead.
Their lead, however, was reduced to 7-5
minutes later as the opposition tried to spread the defence wide and this paid
off with a try.
Bok Women’s Sevens speedster Veroeshka Grain had the final say
in the half as she made her way through a gap on defence to dash to tryline to
hand the team a 14-5 lead.
Hong Kong tried hard to make their presence felt in the
second half, but SA defended well and managed to shut them out.
With the clock
winding down, Jordaan opted for a chip and chase, which she gathered for the
team’s third try and a 21-5 victory.
The win earned them a place in the Cup semi-final against
hosts Ireland, who they defeated 12-5 in the pool stages on Saturday.
struck first a minute-and-a-half into the match as they applied pressure and
found space out wide to touch down and added another try soon after as they
forced their way through the defence for an encouraging 14-0 lead.
back with a try a little over a minute before halftime after a fantastic break
by Grain, but Ireland cancelled this out with another try for a 19-7 lead at
The Bok Women’s Sevens came out firing in the second half
with Grain scoring in the opening minute after kicking a loose ball into space
and pouncing on it over the tryline to reduce the gap to 19-14.
But this was
again cancelled out as Ireland crossed the tryline to stretch their lead to
26-14 with three minutes left on the clock.
SA tried hard to fight their way
back into the match in the dying minutes, but all their efforts were countered
by the effective Ireland defence.
The defeat ended the team’s hopes of
qualifying as a core team on the World Series.
In their final match of the day against the Netherlands, the
teams were involved in a tense first half as they threw everything at one
another on attack and defence.
Such was the closeness of the match the only
points scored in the first half was a try by Simmers, who picked up the ball
from a ruck and caught the defence off-guard by rushing to the tryline, while
Jordaan converted for a 7-0 lead.
The team started the second half on a high note with Jordaan
finding space out wide to cross the chalk for a 12-0 lead.
Both teams tried
hard to add to their score in the remaining minutes of the match, but with the
defence holding, neither team was able to add the score, which earned SA the
Springbok Women’s Sevens World Series Qualifier day two
SA 21-15 Hong Kong (Cup quarter-final)