The Springbok Women's Sevens team laid down a marker for the Rugby Africa Women's Sevens crown on Saturday as they defeated Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia to finish top of pool B in Tunisia.
They will now face Morocco in the Cup Quarter-finals at the Mustapha Ben Jannet Stadium in Monastir on Sunday.
The Imbokodo scored 99 points in their three matches and conceded none, but according to coach Paul Delport, they will need to make a massive step-up if they want to be crowned the best team in Africa.
“We were far from our best today, and I thought we played poorly at times,” said Delport. “The error rate was too high, and our decision-making was not good enough at times. To be competitive come Sunday, we will have to improve in a number of departments.
“We lacked fluency and rhythm, and sometimes just went through the motions.”
There were some strong showings in other pools as well, most notably from Kenya, but Delport insisted that they are measuring themselves only on Imbokodo standards.
“We came here with a plan and an expectation of our own performance levels and standards. Today was not the greatest with those in mind, so we need to make a step up on Sunday. We did well at the breakdown and defence, but our attack did not impress.”
The opening match against Uganda saw some good work on attack. The forwards, with Sizo Solontsi in particular, stood tall and that laid the foundation for debutants Meghan Phillips and Liske Lategan to score their first tries for the team.
A five-try romp and a 31-0 win against Zimbabwe followed, but the lack of rhythm Delport alluded to prevented the Imbokodo from gathering momentum.
A good defensive effort against Zambia laid the foundation for the 32-0 win. The Zambians had good possession in the first half, but effective defence by South Africa resulted in turnovers and attacking opportunities.
Catha Jacobs got her first of the tournament to open the scoring, with five more tries to follow.
The Cup Quarter-finals are (SA times):
10h30: South Africa v Morocco
10h52: Madagascar v Senegal
11h14: Uganda v Tunisia
11h36 Kenya v Zimbabwe
Springbok Women’s Sevens scorers:
Tries: Sizo Solontsi (2), Meghan Phillips, Zintle Mpupha, Nadine Roos, Liske Lategan. Conversion: Nadine Roos.
Tries: Nadine Roos, Liske Lategan, Zintle Mpupha (2), Zinhle Ndawonde. Conversions: Eloise Webb (3).
Tries: Catha Jacobs, Meghan Phillips, Zinhle Ndawonde, Liske Lategan, Zenay Jordaan, Zintle Mpupha. Conversions: Zenay Jordaan (2), Eloise Webb.