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They did the team proud, says Zintle Mpupha on Imbokodo debutants in Toulouse

South Africa's Lerato Makua intercepts a pass against Australia on day one of the HSBC France Sevens women's competition at Stade Toulousain in Toulouse, France on Friday. Photo: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby/BackpagePix

South Africa's Lerato Makua intercepts a pass against Australia on day one of the HSBC France Sevens women's competition at Stade Toulousain in Toulouse, France on Friday. Photo: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby/BackpagePix

Published May 20, 2022

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Cape Town — It was tough for sure, but they learnt a lot.

That is the view of Zintle Mpupha, who returned to the Springbok Women’s Sevens squad for the Toulouse leg of the World Sevens Series as one of two invitational teams competing against the 10 core teams, were outplayed by Series champions Australia in their first game of the France tournament.

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They were defeated 0-50 by Australia on Day One, before producing an improved performance against the USA, who came away with a 22-0 win.

Mpupha said their big defensive effort against the USA, despite the scoreline, was the biggest plus from thus far this weekend.

“It may look like our focus was only defence, but we did attack well at times, but did not finish, which is sad as that would have given us some confidence. Going forward, we will be better in that department, I feel,” said Mpupha.

Mpupha, who plays professional rugby at Exeter Chiefs in England, said the return to Sevens was tough, but enjoyable: “It was tough, especially in this heat, but it was wonderful playing with the team again and I enjoyed myself a lot. It feels good to be back.”

Mpupha said the experience gained by the girls who made their Series debuts will be valuable for the development of the team.

“They really showed spirit out there today and all of them can feel proud of their debuts,” she said.

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“They did well and made the team proud. They have this experience to build on and that is a good starting point for them playing sevens.”

South Africa will face Fiji at 10:40am on Saturday in their remaining Pool A clash.

@WynonaLouw

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