FILE - Western Province will looking to stretch their unbeaten run to six games when they take on the Blue Bulls Women in this weekend’s Interprovincial Competition action. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
FILE - Western Province will looking to stretch their unbeaten run to six games when they take on the Blue Bulls Women in this weekend’s Interprovincial Competition action. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

WP looking to stretch unbeaten run when they face Blue Bulls Women at Cape Town Stadium

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – While Western Province will aim to stretch their unbeaten run to six when they host the Blue Bulls Women in the Premier Division of the Interprovincial Competition at Newlands on Saturday, skipper Nolusindiso Booi has a few personal boxes she’d like to tick as well.

The Premier Division log-leaders and defending champions have been hot on attack and, as they enter the second half of the competition, they’ll certainly want to keep that up.

The double-round of action in the Premier Division – the first in the competition’s history – was a welcome addition after an extended period of no rugby. And for the WP lock, this kind of preparation is a massive benefit to help them sharpen up ahead of the World Cup in New Zealand next year.

“The double round Premier Division has already been beneficial for the players from a mental and physical perspective,” the Springbok Women’s captain said.

“Every player knows that to reach the final we have to be switched on week-in and week-out and that we need to back this up with consistent performances, which is exactly what we need with an eye on next year’s Rugby World Cup.

“There is no substitute for competitive game time, so we are delighted to be exposed to this type of competition so that we can improve our match fitness and mental strength long before the World Cup. It will certainly bode well in terms of our preparation.”

While getting back into the swing of things has been a considerable adjustment, Booi said just the opportunity to play again after the disruptions brought on by the pandemic is something to embrace.

“It was challenging at first because the last time we played matches was back in 2019,” she said. “However, some of the players participated in the Springbok Women’s training camp earlier in the year which assisted in improving our fitness levels in general and our match fitness, as we had a few hit-outs against our squad members.

“For many players though, the Women’s Premier Division marked their first time back on the field in over a year and a half, so it has been an adjustment to get back into full match mode. That said, the players have been training hard in the last few months, and we are fully embracing this opportunity to play so many matches this season.”

Booi, who holds a diploma in Business Management, also shared some of her highlights and what she would like to improve on or maintain - both individually and in terms of the team.

“My highlight from a rugby perspective is to be back on the field after a year on the sidelines with a broken foot. It was a challenging time for me, especially since I missed out on the qualifiers for the Rugby World Cup, but I am delighted to be back in action.

“I’d like to improve on my lineout skills, and from a team perspective, I’d like us to maintain our fitness levels.”

Women’s Premier Division fixtures (Saturday, 12 June):

Western Province v Blue Bulls Women

Time: 13h00

Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge

Assistant referees: Local referees

TMO: Aimee Barrett-Theron

TV: SuperSport Variety 2 (channel 207)

Border Ladies v EP Queens

Time: 14h00 (live stream on Springboks.rugby)

Venue: Police Park, East London

Referee: Phumzile Mbewu

Assistant referees: Local referees

Sharks Women v Boland Dames

Time: 14h00 (live stream on Springboks.rugby)

Venue: Jonsson Kings Park 2, Durban

Referee: Ashleigh Murray-Pretorius

Assistant referees: Local referees

@WynonaLouw

IOL Sport

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