Cape Town - The Springbok Women's Sevens team on Thursday won
the Centrale Sevens tournament in Paris, starting their short tour of
France in the best possible way as they were unbeaten in their six
The tournament culminated with a 24-7 win over
the Ukraine in the final at Stade de la Peupleraie in the French capital
and afterwards, Springbok Women's Sevens coach Paul Delport was full of
praise for the effort put in by the squad.
“I am very pleased and proud on how the team
responded today. We had tough conditions, with rain yesterday and today,
but the ladies really played well,” Delport said.
“We came here to be tested and to see where we
are as a squad and I am pleased on both fronts. We are pretty lucky in
not picking up any injuries and especially in our matches against
Ukraine, the squad had to dig deep.
“We tried to spread the workload amongst the
squad as well and everyone got good game time, which was another
objective of the trip.”
Victories over Ocean7s, Ukraine and Tunisia on
Wednesday laid the platform for Thursday’s play, where they outplayed
Ukraine 20-7 in their final pool match, before beating IDF 36-0 in the
The tough Ukrainians awaited Paul Delport’s side
again in the final and bar an intercept try by the East Europeans, the
Springbok Women’s Sevens dominated play to claim the tournament win.
It was not easy going though. Ukraine applied a
lot of pressure in the opening minutes, but after four minutes of play
Zenay Jordaan went over for the first try, which was converted by Eloise
That lead was short-lived however, as Ukraine
grabbed an intercept try to score under the poles and draw level.
However, a try by Nadine Roos on the stroke of half-time gave South
Africa a 12-7 lead at the break.
A strong 50 meter run by Rights Mkhari shortly
after the restart, again converted by Webb, gave the Springbok Women’s
Sevens the edge and Roos clinched the win with her second, following
some good interplay by the team.
Delport also praised the leadership of
co-captains, Mathrin Simmers and Christelene Steinhobel: “They stepped
up well. At stages, Ukraine had us under massive pressure in both games
we played against them and the leadership came through
“We needed to be pushed to the limit and the
matches against Ukraine did exactly that. The fact that we responded so
well is very pleasing for me.”
Delport congratulated the organisers of the
event: “It was a well-run tournament and we would love to come back
again. They actually had students running a lot of the organisation and
they did really well, many thanks to all involved.”
The squad will travel to Nancy on Friday, where they will play in the Stanislas Sevens on Saturday and Sunday.
“We will travel there in a positive frame of mind
and determined to deliver another performance that we can be proud of,
as we are today,” said Delport.
SA scorers in the final – Tries: Zenay Jordaan, Nadine Roos (2), Rights Mkhari. Conversions: Eloise Webb (2).