The South Africans lost 20-7 to Ireland and 24-7 to Fiji in matches where they were contesting tightly, only for soft moments allowing late replies by their opponents to close out the games.

The Bok Women started the tournament on defence as Ireland managed to keep possession on attack for a number of phases as they scored twice in the opening five minutes. Stacey Flood rounded a tiring South African defence and Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe scored from a kick ahead, using her pace to dot down.

Credit to the Bok Women, who rallied well. They were rewarded when Shona-Leah Weston broke clear from 30 meters out to score under the sticks. Nadine Roos converted and at the break, the South Africans were back in it.

The second half surge continued with South Africa keeping up the pressure, but a crucial knock-on with the try-line begging handed possession back to Ireland, who raced away to score before the Irish added another on the final whistle to blow out the scoreline.

Nadine Roos looks for a gap.

Nadine Roos looks for a gap.

It was more of the same against Fiji. South Africa started poorly and were made to look lethargic by their opponents, who played with too much flair and pace, aided by some very basic handling errors and defensive lapses from South Africa.

Fiji’s lead of 19-0 at the break looked ominous, but a much better second half effort will give the South Africans some momentum for Saturday’s final pool match against Australia.

The second half was dominated by the South Africans, who attacked well and managed a number of line breaks and when Ayanda Malinga scored after 10 minutes, a remarkable comeback seemed on the cards. However, more handling errors and another mistake on defence allowed Fiji to score another try.


South Africa 7 (7), Ireland 20 (10)
SA - Try: Shona-Leah Weston. Conversion: Nadine Roos.
Ireland - Tries: Stacey Flood, Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe (2), Vicki Kinlan.

South Africa 7 (0), Fiji 24 (19)
SA - Try: Ayanda Malinga. Conversion: Nadine Roos.
Fiji - Tries: Verenaisi Ditavutu, Raijieli Daveau (2), Ilisa Dealiawu. Conversions: Ana Maria Naimase.