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Springbok Women line-up holds firm despite French thrashing

By Kim Ekin
Sinazo Mcatshulwa of South Africa runs the ball during the Pool C Rugby World Cup 2021 match between South Africa and France at Eden Park on October 08, 2022, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer retained the same starting XV for their second Rugby World Cup clash in New Zealand and made only one change to the replacements for Sunday’s match against Fiji.

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Nolusindiso Booi will lead the same team on the field, while Springbok Women’s Sevens forward Lerato Makua has been named on the bench, where she replaces Catha Jacobs, who played against France at Eden Park on Saturday.

Makua, with five test caps to her name, recently played for South Africa at Rugby World Cup Sevens in Cape Town and could earn a second gong just over a month later in Auckland.

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“Everyone came out of the French opener unscathed, which was really good news for us as it meant we could go with the same group again against Fiji,” said Raubenheimer.

“The players have now experienced the intensity of this Rugby World Cup and showed that they are improving with every Test.

“We again had a slow start due to all the nervous energy and we hope that this time, the same team will be calmer and more focussed in those opening minutes. If we selected a bunch of new players, they would not have been as settled as this group is now.”

Raubenheimer again insisted that the pack had performed well against the French: “The pack of forwards had some nice momentum and showed against France that they can compete with any of the top sides. We want that momentum to continue.”

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“We were looking for a little more speed and mobility and Lerato will give us that, especially in the second half when we hope to attack a bit more.

“We are hoping to tire Fiji out in the first hour and then attack with players such as Lerato, Lusanda Dumke, Roseline Botes and Zenay Jordaan coming on. Catha has done nothing wrong, but she is a more physical player, so we opted for Lerato, who is faster, more mobile and better suited to our plan in the second half.”

The Springbok Women team to face Fiji in Auckland, which kicks off at 06h45 (SA time) in Auckland.:
15. Nadine Roos (Blue Bulls Women)
14. Nomawethu Mabenge (EP Queens)
13. Zintle Mpupha (DHL Western Province)
12. Aphiwe Ngwevu (Border Ladies)
11. Simamkele Namba (DHL Western Province)
10. Libbie Janse van Rensburg (Blue Bulls Women)
9. Tayla Kinsey (Cell C Sharks Women)
8. Aseza Hele (Boland Dames)
7. Sinazo Mcatshulwa (DHL Western Province)
6. Sizophila Solontsi (Cell C Sharks Women)
5. Rights Mkhari (Blue Bulls Women)
4. Nolusindiso Booi (captain, DHL Western Province)
3. Babalwa Latsha (DHL Western Province)
2. Lindelwa Gwala (Cell C Sharks Women)
1. Sanelisiwe Charlie (EP Queens)

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Roseline Botes (DHL Western Province)
17. Asithandile Ntoyanto (Border Ladies)
18. Monica Mazibukwana (EP Queens)
19. Lerato Makua (Blue Bulls Women)
20. Lusanda Dumke (Border Ladies)
21. Unam Tose (Border Ladies)
22. Zenay Jordaan (EP Queens)
23. Eloise Webb (Border Ladies)

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William 9 minutes ago
All Blacks vs England takeaways: Richie Who? Time for Cortez

Correct analysis of Perofeta’s bungling of the try opportunity Ben. Never ‘fixed’ Steward as he came across in defence and passed too early. Steward didn’t have to break his stride and simply moved on to pressure Telea. Never scanned the easier option of passing to the two supporting players on the inside. Beauden Barrett showed how it is done when he put Telea in for his try. Another point from the game is that the rush defence is hard to maintain as the number of phases increases. From scrums the defensive line only contains backs who all have roughly the same pace. Once forwards are involved, the defence has players with variable speeds often leading to a jagged line. It also tends to lose pace overall giving the attack more time and space. Beauden Barrett’s break to set up Telea’s try came because Baxter went in to tackle McKenzie and Steward went out to cover Telea. Barrett has a massive hole to run through, then commits Steward by passing as late as possible and Telea scores untouched. Another comment I would make is that Ben Earl is a good player and generally an excellent defender but he made three significant misses in the series, two of which led to All Black tries. Got stepped by Perofeta in Dunedin for Savea’s try, missed McKenzie in Auckland leading to what should have been a certain try being set up by Perofeta and was one of the tacklers who couldn’t stop Savea in the leadup to Telea’s first try. Perhaps he should contact Owen Farrell to pick up a few tips from ‘tackle school’.

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