The lopsided score-line in the Test between France and the Springbok Women tells one story with regards to clinical finishing, but for the visiting team in Vannes, not the full story of the match.
There were lots of positives, according to both Springbok Women’s head coach Stanley Raubenheimer, as well as captain, Nolusindiso Booi, who said the team showed great character and fight, despite being outplayed 46-3.
“They stayed in the match until the very last play, and we got a reward in the end, which was very pleasing for us,” Raubenheimer said afterwards.
“We had a number of objectives we wanted out of this game and areas where we wanted to test ourselves against one of the top teams in the world.
“Our ball carrying was one – we wanted to hold onto the ball for longer, but we did not quite get that right. When we did, like in the last couple of minutes, we scored points, even if it was only a penalty.
“We got rewarded for applying pressure on France and that was a win for us, even if only a small one in the context of the game.”
However, Raubenheimer said from a territorial and possession point of view, the picture was bleak.
“We did not do that well, to be honest about it and it will certainly be a work-on,” he said.
“We have not played for three months and only assembled a couple of days ago, so it was expected that we would make mistakes, but at least we have an idea now and I am not despondent at all. The whole reason why we played France today was to see where we are in terms of our game.”
Raubenheimer praised the impact made by the substitutes in the second half, with three players making their Test debuts as well on Saturday.
“I was very pleased with the impact the bench brought into the game,” said Raubenheimer.
“They definitely scrummed well, and our standards did not drop at all. We had some issues in the week with the bench players and I challenged them to show me what they can do in this match. They did so with good effect.”
For Raubenheimer the huge number of penalties and a yellow card to Eloise Webb were a concern, but he reserved his comments until after analysing the game.
“I don’t think it was ill-discipline per se, rather mistakes when we were put under pressure by France, who did apply a lot. We made some errors in judgement, but that will improve as we go along. We can only improve from here,” he said.
Booi said they are confident that the positive in the match outweighs the negatives: “The game was good, we expected this from the French. That said we did make mistakes, especially when under pressure. We did not rectify our mistakes quickly enough when the French were applying pressure and that cost us.”