South African rugby players – men and women, schoolboys and adults – were congratulated for Saturday’s national team hat-trick by Mr Mark Alexander, president of SA Rugby, on Sunday.
The Springboks overcame Argentina, 24-18; the Springbok Women defeated Kenya, 39-0; and the SA Schools team beat England U18, 33-26.
“Saturday was a very satisfactory day for South African rugby,” said Mr Alexander. “We had national teams in action in Pretoria, Brakpan and Wellington – all of them in important matches and all of them came through.
“I’d like to congratulate our men and women players and our schoolboys on their successes. It’s not often that we have three national teams playing on the same day and to have them all victorious is cause for some pride.
“In particular I’d like to congratulate the Springbok Women on their qualification for the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup.”
The Springbok Women booked their trip to New Zealand in 2021 in the deciding match of the Rugby Africa qualifiers at the Bosman Stadium in Brakpan. The win completed a clean sweep of victories during which the team conceded only five points and scored 201 from its three matches, which also included appearances against Uganda and Madagascar.
The SA Schools team similarly won all three of their matches, preceding their victory over England with wins over Argentina (48-14) and Wales (23-13). While the SA Schools ‘A’ team also performed admirably against first choice international opposition, drawing against Wales (31-31) and being competitive for long periods in defeats by Argentina (27-12) and France (43-19).
And the Springboks wrapped up their domestic playing preparations for the Rugby World Cup with a 24-18 victory over Argentina in a Castle Lager Incoming Test match, following their emphatic clinching of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship a week before.
“I’d like to congratulate all the players, their coaches and the management staffs on their success,” said Mr Alexander.
“And I’d also like to acknowledge and say ‘thank you’ to all the unseen heroes at school and provincial level who volunteer to provide a playing platform and opportunities in so many different ways and at different stages of a player’s career for these young men and women.
“These are challenging times in so many ways – economically and socially – but their contribution ensures the enduring strength of rugby. I believe that is something we should celebrate.”