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Rugby Africa Women’s Cup: S...

Rugby Africa Women’s Cup: South Africa in Runaway Win as Kenya Lose their Second Match

It’s probably too early to say that South Africa has the proverbial one foot on the plane for the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup in England after sweeping Kenya aside with an impressive display in the second round of the Africa Women’s Cup in Antananarivo on Wednesday, May 8.

South Africa still needs to defeat Madagascar, who managed to fend off a motivated yet error-prone Cameroon in the late match, securing a 12-5 victory and entering the deciding match unbeaten, much like the Springboks, on Saturday, May 12.

In the process, South Africa is in line to retain the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup for the third time running. Kenya experienced defeat in their second match after going down against Madagascar last Saturday, May 4.

The final score was an impressive 63-5 win over Kenya, following eleven well-taken tries with a strong wind that initially favored South Africa. It nevertheless made kicking difficult, Springbok player Jakkie Cilliers can blame most of the seven missed conversions on the wind factor.

South Africa started predictably, with some impressive and well-controlled scrums. Surprisingly, the Springboks took the ball wide from the outset with the backs at times running well.

From ensuing breakdowns, the backs and forwards initially gelled effectively with flanker Lusanda Dumke and lock Vainah Ubisi proving effective on attack, despite Kenya’s strong defence.

Dumke was nevertheless rewarded with the first try after just more than four minutes.

There were, however, too many opportunities on attack lost by South Africa through either dropped passes or wrong options.

South Africa’s two centres, Aphiwe Ngwevu who set up the first try by Dumke with a brilliant strong run, and Jakkie Cilliers, gelled well. Cilliers added three tries to her four conversions showcasing a polished display as centre in the match.

Kenya, although seldom looking threatening, did keep the Springboks at bay until the 17th minute when South Africa’s debutant wing Sikholiwe Mdletshe, who impressed with the ball in hand, and some supporting ball-carriers went over in the left corner for the first of Mdletshe’s two tries, with her second coming nine minutes later.

The second round of the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup was a challenging match. Kenya was not shoved off the ball as easily as Cameroon, when facing South Africa in the first round last Saturday, demonstrating considerable effort in the loose scrums. The Lioness’s discipline was also much better compared to their loss in the opening match to Madagascar, but they were outplayed.

South Africa were then on a try-scoring roll. Following another strong run by Ngwevu, Cilliers swiftly followed with the first of her hat-trick tries, shortly after Mdletshe’s first try. Soon after the half-hour mark, the dynamic two players added another brace.


The game seemed virtually won at 27-0 but Kenya had little flashes with their attacks, scoring their only points through prop Rose Otieno in the 36th minute. Just before halftime, hardworking Ubisi went over for the Springbok Women, resulting in teams changing sides with the Springboks Women leading 34-5.

Winger Nomawethu Mabenge and Cilliers, with her hat-trick try, scored within 10 minutes after the resumption. Then, to finish off, replacement hooker Lindelwa Gwala added to her hat trick in Saturday’s match with another brace, with Cilliers converting the first of those from the sideline. Mabenge repeated her earlier effort with a try-on full-time that took the score to 63.


Scorers –
Springbok Women 63 (34) – Tries: Lusanda Dumke, Sikholiwe Mdletshe (2), Jakkie Cilliers (3), Vainah Ubisi, Nomawethu Mabenge (2), Lindelwa Gwala (2). Conversions: Cilliers (4).
Kenya 5 (5) – Try: Rose Otieno.

Match 2

Cameroon Will Rue Errors, Opportunities in Close Loss to Madagascar

Cameroon players and supporters will probably kick themselves after the second-round match in the African Women’s Cup match in which they had the opportunities but eventually lost to a more solid-looking Madagascar.

The score was 12-5 to the home side, but neither team will be thrilled with their performance. Perhaps the better composure of the home side when it mattered will calm their nerves slightly before their big game against South Africa on Sunday, May 12. It will also be broadcast live on Supersport Linear.

If Madagascar can break South Africa’s two-time hold on the Africa Cup on Sunday, they will be on their way to the 2025 Women’s World Cup in England. Should they lose, they get a (near-impossible) lifeline for other routes in which to qualify when they play in the WXV 3 tournament in Dubai in October through the avenue of second place in the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup.

Cameroon gave as good as they got in the match, and they were perhaps the better side in the second half. Poor options, and handling that wasn’t as poor as that it wasn’t slick, cost them a surprise win.

Discipline at breakdown also cost them yardage when they were blown up for what was too many penalties at breakdown one or two rushes of blood and a couple of high tackles.

In all, the excitement of the close match will be more memorable than the rugby itself.

There can however be little doubt that both teams showed much improvement from 2023 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup.

Scorers – 

Madagascar 12 (7) – Tries: Tiana Jinah Razanamahefat, Veronique Rasoanekena. Conversion Vacilly Rahariravaka

Comores 5 (5) – Try: Hononrine Fri Mbuh

The final round of the 2024 Rugby Africa Women’s Cup, qualifier for the 2025 Women’s World Cup, will commence at 13:00 (East Africa Time) on Saturday, May 12, with South Africa playing against Madagascar. Followed by a match between Kenya and Cameroon at 15:00 (East Africa Time).

Both matches will be available for free live stream and broadcast on the platforms below:


RugbyPass TV:


Rugby Africa YouTube:

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