Springbok Women’s coach Stanley Raubenheimer focused on the positive aspects of his team’s performance on Saturday following their 19-5 defeat against Wales in a competitive Test match at Cardiff Arms Park.
The hosts scored two first-half tries to build up a 12-0 lead, but a try by Lusanda Dumke reduced the deficit to 12-5 in the second half. Wales added their third try in the dying minutes, which pushed the match out of range for Raubenheimer’s charges, who last played in a match at this level in 2014.
“We are disappointed with the defeat, but I am happy with the team’s performance,” said Raubenheimer. “The players’ attitude, and the intensity and physicality they showed on the field was fantastic.
“They did well to stick to the structures, and they never stopped fighting and believing in themselves.”
The coach added: “We were 12-0 down in the first half and we bounced back with a try. Unfortunately we couldn’t round off the other two or three chances were created, and they managed to touch down for the third time late in the game.
“I have no doubt their experience came through for them in the end. But we will learn from this experience.
“The biggest positive we can take from this match is the fact that we know we can compete at this level. And the more we play, the more we will improve.”
Zoning in on the match, Raubenheimer said: “Wales had a good scrum and they challenged us in that department, but I am particularly pleased with our lineouts and the manner in which we retained possession for extended periods.
“Looking ahead, we certainly need to work on our scrummaging and rounding off our chances more effectively because we created enough opportunities, but we were unable to convert them into points.”
Jasmine Joyce and Sioned Harries scored Wales’ first two tries, while captain Carys Philips had the last say as she crossed the tryline in the dying minutes for the 19-5 victory.
Wales 19 (12) Springbok Women 5(0)
Wales – Tries: Jasmine Joyce, Sioned Harries, Carys Philips. Conversions: Robin Wilkins (2).
Springbok Women – Try: Lusanda Dumke.