Boks going for two birds with one stone

SPRINGBOKS Women’s captain Nolusindiso Booi on the attack during the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup match. | BackpagePix

SPRINGBOKS Women’s captain Nolusindiso Booi on the attack during the Rugby Africa Women’s Cup match. | BackpagePix

Published May 12, 2024


THERE is no reason why the Springbok Women can’t rack up another 50-plus score against Madagascar in their final Rugby Africa Women’s Cup clash this afternoon as they look to defend their continental title and secure qualification for next year’s Rugby World Cup in England.

After dispatching Kenya 63-5 earlier this week at the tournament, the Bok Women will look to continue riding the wave as they take on the home team and their vocal supporters in Antananarivo’s Stade Makis (kick-off 2pm).

Besides the two main goals within their reach, the South Africans can also secure their spot in the WXV 2 tournament in their backyard later this year.

While the wins over Kenya and Cameroon in Madagascar will boost them for today’s clash, the Bok Women in their previous two meetings against the island nation secured victories of 73-0 and 79-8. Although head coach Louis Koen expects this to be his side’s toughest challenge, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to secure their World Cup place.

Captain Nolusindiso Booi, who will play in her 45th test, said they were ready to face the challenge head-on.

“We know what we are playing for and what is at stake, but our focus will not be on that,” Booi said yesterday.

“There will be nothing new. We know exactly what our coaches expect from us. The focus will be to execute what we did on the training field, to play to our strengths and our identity as a team, and to make sure, at the end of the match, we have made South Africa and ourselves proud.”

Just as in the Kenya clash, the Bok Women expect a healthy crowd. It’s been good to see the support for the sides in Antananarivo, and Booi believes that pressure coming from off the field will also help her side.

She added that it has been amazing to play in front of the big crowds.

“I am so excited about that crowd. There will be noise, and it will be intimidating, but we will have the focus and energy to combat that. We just need to switch it off and ensure we implement what we want as a team,” said the skipper.

“We came prepared. The coaches really did an excellent job in getting us ready for this. I am confident that we will reward them for that. We know what we want to do out there, and if we do that well, we will celebrate.”