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Springbok Women's coach swings the axe for England

By Ian Cameron
France's Laure Sansus is tackled by South Africa's Simamkele Namba (R) during the New Zealand 2021 Women's Rugby World Cup Pool C match between South Africa and France at Eden Park on October 8, 2022. (Photo by Michael BRADLEY / AFP) (Photo by MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP via Getty Images)

Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer has swung the axe on his underperforming team ahead of their final game of the tournament against England in Auckland on Sunday.

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Just six players survive in the same position as they did in game Fiji as the side face the daunting task of taking on the Red Roses – hot favourites for the tournament.

Team captain Nolusindiso Booi, props Babalwa Latsha and Sanelisiwe Charlie, No 8 Aseza Hele, scrumhalf Tayla Kinsey and wing Nomawethu Mabenge have survived the cull, while Simamkele Namba swapsfrom the wing to outside centre.

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What’s more, the entire front row of Yonela Ngxingolo, Micke Gunter and Aziza Mkiva, lock Nompumelelo Mathe, scrumhalf Rumandi Potgieter, midfielder Jakkie Cilliers and outside back Chuma Qawe will be involved for the first time in New Zealand.

“We have always planned to give everyone a run if possible – all 32 players who came here were selected to play when called upon and that has not changed,” said Raubenheimer.

“We had a clear directive on what we wanted to achieve at this World Cup, but unfortunately it did not go our way against Fiji last Sunday. We will now give those players who have not played so far, the opportunity also to show they were worthy of selection.

“The experience to be at the World Cup will be beneficial to all in the squad after this match, as they would have experienced playing in the tournament. We could have gone with the same team, but that would not have the same benefits than exposing the wider group to topflight rugby.

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“The England match was always going to be a massive challenge; they have put 50 points past all their opponents in recent matches.

“So, our outlook for this match is slightly different. I hope the new players and those making tournament debuts will bring energy and excitement. The World Cup is different from a normal test match, it drains you physically, but also mentally in more ways than one, so we hope the new players will bring a fresh approach to the game.”

SPRINGBOK WOMEN TEAM:
15. Eloise Webb
14. Nomawethu Mabenge
13. Simamkele Namba
12. Chumisa Qawe
11. Nadine Roos
10. Zenay Jordaan
9. Tayla Kinsey
8. Aseza Hele
7. Lerato Makua
6. Lusanda Dumke
5. Catha Jacobs
4. Nolusindiso Booi (captain)
3. Babalwa Latsha
2. Roseline Botes
1. Sanelisiwe Charlie

REPLACEMENTS:
16. Micke Gunter
17. Yonela Ngxingolo
18. Azisa Mkiva
19. Nompumelelo Mathe
20. Sizophila Solontsi
21. Rumandi Potgieter
22. Jakkie Cilliers
23. Chuma Qawe

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N
Nickers 1 hours ago
'One of the poorest All Blacks performances I've seen in a long time'

Extreme hyperbole from Biggar. NZ have played far, far worse than that. The 20/21 team was by far the worst of the professional era. Losses to Argentina, shambolic game against Japan and hapless NH tour of 2021. But even that dreadful team were able to put 50 points on Wales and beat them by 38. Much easier to “tear them to pieces” from the commentary box apparently. Ignored by virtually everyone is how good the ABs defence was. That is why England didn’t win, they simply could not score enough points against that defence. The ABs attack was very average, but their defence was world class and that’s what won them the game. Any Wales team that Biggar has ever played for would have found themselves in the same situation and would definitely not have scored tries from those cross kicks. That ABs team beats Biggar’s best Wales team 31 - 13. England’s attack was as good as it was allowed to be by a superior defence. Hats off to Hansen, he has picked up where MacLeod finally got the ABs to last year and not missed a step. England’s attack will be a big worry for Borthwick. They have not established a reliable, repeatable way to break teams down and score points. They were held to some very low scores by average teams in the 6N, and again here didn’t cross 20 points on either occasion. If I was an England fan I would be crying out for a new attack coach. Borthwick would do well to cast his net now, a poor home winter with a faltering attack will start the calls for his job.

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T
Thomas 1 hours ago
'Champions get up when they can't': Matt Williams weighs in on Ireland's win over Boks

While both teams have their particular positives, I think neither team should rest on their laurels. South Africa managed to tie a series against an uncomfortable opponent, that has had their numbers for a couple of years, while trial-running a completely new attack system, that still doesn’t work properly. But one aspect of “it doesn’t work yet” is a transition from attack to defense in broken play, as the Boks leaked three tries in two matches this way, and lost the second match as a result. Ireland avoided a series loss in a hostile environment, and in spite of many key player injuries, while managing to significantly improve and tighten their defense in game 2 (which demonstrates the breadth of their squad as well as their ability to adjust and recalibrate). At the same time, their own attack hadn’t amounted to much, either (save from exploiting the gaps in the Boks’ new system, gaps that won’t be there anymore in a few months’ time), and they haven’t found an answer to the Boks scrum, which almost costed them the 2nd match, if it hadn’t been for pretty much unrepeatable Frawley heroics. In the end, there isn’t much that separates those two sides … which is exactly what we knew before the series already. Back to the drawing board for both teams, the work only just begins for two teams with the highest ambition. Start of a cycle alright.

16 Go to comments
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