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Rugby Africa Women’s Cup: F...

Rugby Africa Women’s Cup: Forwards’ Softening Up Lay Foundation for Springboks’ Backs

South Africa was much too strong up front for Cameroon in the opening match of the 2024 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup on Saturday, May 4 in Antananarivo, Madagascar. South Africa’s Springbok’s won 55-0 after leading only 12-0 at halftime.

It certainly wasn’t as easy for South Africa as in their corresponding match in 2023, with their victory of 87-0 against Cameroon. Playing with a rather strong breeze in the first half, with their forwards setting the platform, it seemed early on that the South Africans’ physical pressure was tiring the Cameroon’s forwards, who often had their hands on their knees at the breakdown. And that was well before halftime.

But the swirling wind made running difficult, leading the Springboks to stick to their forwards’ driving play.

Tiring it certainly was for the Cameroon pack, all three first-half tries were scored by Springboks’ hooker Lindelwa Gwala to help her side to a 19-0 lead at the break.

The mauling and especially the scrummaging, were outstanding.

After the break, the South African backs came into their own with pacy left-wing Maceala Samboya (3) also scoring a hat-trick.


It wasn’t, however, a case of merely running through to the score line after halftime. Well-constructed tries, good handling, and excellent options were a hallmark of their play in the second half against a team that got their only near-chance of points in the very last minute – to no avail.

Generally, the South Africans’ scrummaging was outstanding, despite a shoulder injury in the third minute that saw tighthead prop Aliyah Tchogna-Njamen (prop) replaced only a few minutes into the game.

The starting halfbacks, Rumandi Potgieter (scrumhalf) and Mary Zulu(flyhalf) deserve praise for their control of the game, especially early on when Cameroon was pummelled up-font through the halfbacks’good options from the surfeit of possession.

There are certainly some aspects South Africa’s Women’s coach Louis Koen will want to work on. But overall, it was a clinical effort with the team’s plan of doing the little things right, in obvious display.

Who can argue with a score line of 55 that included nine tries, including two players, one at hooker and the other on the wing, who scored hattricks?

The second round of the 2024 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, will commence at 13:00 (East African Time) on May 8, with South Africa playing against Kenya. Followed by a match between Madagascar and Cameroon at 15:00 (East African Time).

All matches will be streamed on the Rugby Africa Facebook ( and YouTube Page (

Scorers –  

SA Women 55 (19) – Tries: Lindelwa Gwala (3), Vainah Ubisi, Veroeshka Grain, Maceala Samboya (3), Aphiwe Ngwevu. Conversions: Mary Zulu (5).

South Africa vs Cameroon

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