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Women's Sevens outplayed in Hong Kong final
April 06, 2018
The Springbok Women's Sevens team on Friday made it all the way to the final of the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Qualifier, but found the final hurdle too steep, losing 31-14 to China.

South Africa earlier beat Wales and Kenya on their way to the final match of the event, which saw 12 teams battle it out for one spot in the 2018/19 World Series. Springbok Women's Sevens coach, Paul Delport, congratulated China with their achievement and said they were the best team over the last two days of play.

"Good luck to them in the series, they will do well. For our team, I feel for the squad, as it was not due to a lack of trying. We were beaten by a better team in the final. It is tough, as we really wanted this and came up short at the same stage last year."

Delport suggested a bigger squad to work with and more tournaments as potential moves to up the competitiveness of his squad.

"The reality is that every year we don't play on the circuit, we are falling further behind, so this result was disappointing from that perspective as well."

The coach will get the chins up however as they depart to Gold Coast on Sunday, where the team will compete in the Commonwealth Games.

"It is a first for the team, so they will have to get and be ready again. This will also be the first time we will go back-to-back on tournaments, so it will be a learning curve. You can only improve playing against the best teams on a regular basis and that is what we are looking to achieve."

Against China, the South Africans started brightly when Unathi Mali picked up a loose pass and scored, with Zenay Jordaan adding the conversion to secure a 7-0 lead. The Chinese scored from the restart though and then capitalised on numerous loose passes from their opponents to keep the scoreboard ticking.

A good burst by Megan Comley resulted in another converted try and with three minutes to play, South Africa looked for a late comeback, trailing 14-24. It was not to be though, as China scored two more tries to secure a spot in the World Series in 2018/19.

Earlier, South Africa edged Kenya 12-7 in the semis and beat Wales 26-0 in the quarterfinals.

It took a try in sudden death extra time from Zinthle Ndawonde though to clinch the win over Kenya and only after the TMO confirmed that her outstretched effort did indeed touched the try-line.

Earlier, a converted try by Zenay Jordaan edged the WomenBoks ahead with three minutes to play. Kenya though, struck back with a long-range effort of their own to draw level, resulting in extra time.

The Springbok Women's Sevens team Wales in their opening match of the day. South Africa made a strong start in the opening seven minutes and scored two good tries to hold a 14-0 lead at the break.

First Marithy Pienaar ran strongly to score, before a solid run by Zintle Mpupha resulted in Pienaar handing Nadine Roos the final pass to score. Zenay Jordaan converted both tries.

The second half saw more South African attacks, forcing Wales to make mistakes and conceding a yellow card. This allowed Zenay Jordaan to dive over in the corner.

Veroeshka Grain then sealed the deal with a strong surge down the middle of the field, with Chane Stadler converting for a solid 26-0 win.

Scorers:

South Africa v Wales - tries: Marithy Pienaar, Nadine Roos, Zenay Jordaan, Veroeshka Grain. Conversions: Zenay Jordaan (2), Chane Stadler.
South Africa v Kenya - tries: Zenay Jordaan, Zinthle Ndawonde. Conversion: Zenay Jordaan.
South Africa v China - Try: Unathi Mali, Megan Comley. Conversions: Zenay Jordaan (2).

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