CAPE TOWN – In the end it's the result that matters, but sometimes what happens between kick-off and the final whistle is just as important.
And if you watched the Springbok Women's Sevens side's Rugby World Cup Sevens game against Russia, you'd certainly not be disappointed with the effort. The result perhaps, but not the effort.
It was always going to be a tough one against the Russians, who are seeded fourth for the San Francisco event as opposed to the South Africans, who are 13th.
Russia got on the scoreboard first when Alena Mikhaltsova shook off defenders and turned on the gas to score (5-0).
The SA Women's team were dealt a blow when Nadine Roos was sin-binned, and Russia ran in two tries while enjoying the numerical advantage (19-0).
Mathrin Simmers - in her second Sevens World Cup - mixed it up and booted the ball ahead for the experienced Zenay Jordaan to pounce and score (19-7).
In the second half the South Africans piled the pressure on Russia and did well to keep them pinned in own 22, and their ascendancy continued when Babalwa Latsha brought some impact off the bench when she showed her power to force her way over the tryline with two minutes to go (19-14).
It wasn't enough, though, and with 10 seconds to go, Russia regained possession and got the full benefit when Mariia Perestiak paced to the tryline for an unconverted try (24-14) and book their spot in the final eight.
South Africa 14 - Tries: Zenay Jordaan, Babalwa Latsha. Conversions: Zenay Jordaan (2).