Dubai - Springbok Women's Sevens coach Paul Delport left The Sevens Stadium in Dubai a pleased man on Thursday, where his team finished the day in the Dubai Sevens International Invitational tournament with two wins from their three pool matches.
They will face the Australian Women's Sevens Invitational team, the Tribe7s, in the Cup quarter-finals on Friday.
South Africa started the tournament well, with victories over Wales (24-5) and Almaty RFC from Kazakhstan (12-5), before the Japanese side Arukas Queen Kumagaya edged them 24-12 in their final pool match.
Delport was happy with the effort by his squad, which included six new players.
“We really played well against the Welsh and did a lot of good things there,” said Delport.
“The team from Kazakhstan were very physical, as we expected, and we had to defend very well to keep them out.”
Against the Japanese team, Delport started and kept all six new caps on the field for the duration of the match.
“We came here to compete, but also to learn as a team and as individuals and that was part of that strategy to keep the new players on the pitch. They would learn a lot out of that match and I am very happy about that,” Delport explained.
“We scored first and then at a stage conceded a yellow card and lost our way a bit, but we came back into the game at the end. We need to grow and improve, and the squad will be better for it.
“I could have called on the likes of Marithy Pienaar, Zenay Jordaan and the other experienced players, but decided not to. The experience gained by the new players was very important.”
Their Australian opponents will provide a tough test, but Delport is positive about Friday's clash.
“They will be very competitive. We hope to have a good rest tonight and to come out fighting tomorrow, but day two of a tournament is a different beast. I am looking forward to see how we compete,” said Delport.
The match kicks off at 07:00 SA time.