Cape Town - Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer has praised the growth shown by his team on their European Tour.
The South Africans played France in their Tour-opener last weekend and lost the encounter 46-3.
Against Wales, on Saturday, a late surge by the Springbok Women proved a little too late as they slumped to a 29-19 defeat in Cardiff.
While he lauded their efforts, Raubenheimer acknowledged that hard work awaits the team as they build towards Rugby World Cup in New Zealand next year.
“We have grown a lot over the two weeks – I can honestly say that physically and fitness wise, we have stepped up a lot, especially as we came from almost playing no rugby in the last year,” said Raubenheimer.
“We again finished strongest, with our bench really making a difference, but our inability to keep the ball for long periods and to relieve pressure with our kicking game was our downfall in that first half.
“That is disappointing, as it is two of our focus areas on tour and it did not yield the same growth as the other parts of our game.”
The coach added that how his side handled the pressure when they were one-man down after Unam Tose was sin-binned was pleasing.
What a team try! pic.twitter.com/36g7MyDprG— Springbok Women (@WomenBoks) November 13, 2021
“We talked about having a player down, but did not train that, yet the players showed that they listened to me for a change,” he said.
“Some players needed to play in unfamiliar positions because of that, like our replacement lock Lerato Makua having to make her debut on the wing. They adapted very well and that was pleasing, especially as they kept their focus in that time.”
“We kept on making tackle after tackle and the times we were breached, it was because of system errors, not because of a lack of trying. The tries we scored were really well-worked and it was a delight to watch. It shows we can score tries like that and that is great to know,” he said.
Another beauty late in the game as Libbie Janse van Rensburg race away. but Wales won this one 29-19. Congratulations to @WelshRugbyUnion @waleswomenrugby great game of rugby! #NovemberSeries2021 pic.twitter.com/i1Sk9v5oQr— Springbok Women (@WomenBoks) November 13, 2021
The side will have two training sessions with the England squad next week and then play the England Under-20's next Sunday. They conclude the tour with a match against the Barbarians at Twickenham on 27 November.