Improved Performance But Scots Fall Short

Scotland Women 17 - 41 South Africa Women

In a scoreline than belied much of the run of play,it was a vastly improved Scotland side that returned to Lasswade this afternoon to take on South Africa in a second World Cup warm-up fixture.

Scotland dictated and dominated for the first fifty minutes but were overcome in the latter stages of the second half by a hugely physical South African outfit.

Scotland head coach, Gary Parker, said: "This time last week [after the fist Test] I couldn't find any positives in the team's performance but today, for fifty minutes, we looked a fantastic side. That's probably the best period of rugby these girls have played as a team.

"When the South Africans got their momentum, in the second half, we couldn't break their flow. But we did a lot of good things and the scoreboard might not reflect that - I know a lot of the girls are really hurting with that result."

The squad will now be selected for the Rugby World Cup in August, followed by a non cap international against Ireland on Sunday 18 July (kick-off 1pm at Lasswade, admission free).

 

A sun-dappled Hawthornden was the setting to this second game in the two-Test series, South Africa having easily overcome the Scots in their first meeting, last Saturday (5 June).

The Scotland players were led out by Lynne Reid, marking her fiftieth apprearance for Scotland, in a team which had seen several changes since the previous Saturday.

It was the home side that set off at a cracking pace, going 3-0 ahead in the first two minutes courtesy of a penalty, from in front of the posts, by Melrose full back, Nicola Halfpenny.

Good hands from South Africa then saw the ball travel at pace in the opposite direction and pressure the Scots' line. A series of unfortunate fumbles from Scotland had the South African captain, Mandisa Williams, pounce on the loose ball as it went over the line; the try was converted by Zandile Nojoko to edge the visitors ahead after fifteen minutes, 3-7.

Five minutes later the run of play had swung back in Scotland's direction and the boot of Halfpenny secured a second penalty attempt to put the Scots just one point behind (6-7).

A series of pick-and-chase moves, a kick to touch and a driving pack ensured that the momentum continued for the Scots with Hillhead / Jordanhill prop Heather Lockhart awarded the try for Scotland. Halfpenny's conversion just went wide, but it was enough to turn the scoreline 11-7 for the home team.

As frustration came to the surface for the opposition, South African centre Daphne Scheepers was sin-binned eight minutes from half time. Both sides set a frantic pace in the run-up to the whistle, with Halfpenny matching the opposition stand-off pace for pace as South Afriuca threatened to score, the ball kicked over the line but saved by the chasing Scottish pack.

Persistence paid off however when, on the stroke of half time, Scotland were awarded a penalty in front of the posts, successfully taken by Halfpenny to put the home side further ahead.

Half time: 14-7

With two minutes of time still to serve, Scheepers absence reduced the visitor numbers to fourteen at the restart, the advantage taken by the Scots with another successful penalty from Halfpenny to increase the lead to 17-7 after 48 minutes.

But it wasn't just in attack that the Scots were impressive; a thumping tackle on South Africa's full back, by Donna Kennedy, could be heard (and felt) at the back of the stand.

Having ruled the game for the opening fifty minutes, Scotland began to lose pace as the opposition finally gained their momentum, leading to a penalty, successfully landed by full back Nojoko, to bring the South Africans within a converted try (17-10).


A stunning break by Murrayfield Wanderers winger, Katy Green, hit a hastily assembled South African wall, countered by good numbers and a burst from the visitors to chase the ball over the line, Lorinda Brown grounding the score which went unconverted to narrow Scotland's lead to two points.

In a fitting substitution, Scotland's most capped rugby player, Donna Kennedy (110 caps) made way for Lynne Reid to gain her fiftieth cap, to a hearty round of applause from the assembled support.

Approaching the last twenty minutes, the South Africans' superior physicality began to show with two converted tries in five minutes from stand-off Zenay Jordaan and centre Lorinda Brown respectively to put the visitors ahead 17-29 for the first time.

The last ten minutes saw the Scots regain their composure, pick up the pace and mount a try-saving tackle from substitute, Suzi Newton.

A few minutes later, however, the South Africans turned up the gas again and add two tries (Jordaan, 61 minutes) and Momoti (75 minutes), the second converted by Nojoko before a raft of subsitutions by the visitors heralded the final whistle.

Final score: 17-41

Player of the match: Mandisa Williams (South Africa)

Referee: Claire Daniels (RFU)
Assistant referee: Kersten Ljungdahl (DRV)
Assistant referee: Alex Pratt
4th official: Malcolm Currie

Scotland Women v South Africa, Lasswade, kick-off 1pm

15 Nicola Halfpenny (Melrose)

14 Celia Hawthorn (Edinburgh University)
13 Lucy Millard (Team Northumbria)
12 Veronica Fitzpatrick (RHC Cougars)
11 Katy Green (RHC Cougars)

10 Erin Kerr (Wasps)
9 Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)

1 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead / Jordanhill)
2 Sarah-Louise Walker (Watsonians)
3 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)
4 Gillian McCord (RHC Cougars)
5 Louise Moffat (Murrayfield Wanderers)
6 Susie Brown (Richmond)
7 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
8 Donna Kennedy (Worcester)

Substitutes
16 Alison Macdonald (RHC Cougars) (on for Walker, 69m)
17 Rosalind Murphy (Edinburgh University) (on for Lockhart, 63m)
18 Lynne Reid (RHC Cougars) (on for Kennedy, 52m)
19 Keri Holdsworth (Watsonians) (on for Brown, 72m)
20 Sarah Gill (Murrayfield Wanderers) (on for Dalgleish, 40m)
21 Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)
22 Suzi Newton (Team Northumbria) (on for Fitzpatrick, 60m)

South Africa Women
15 Zandile NOJOKO 
14 Yolanda MEIRING
13 Lorinda BROWN
12 Daphne SCHEEPERS  
11 Phumeza GADU 

10 Zenay JORDAAN 
9 Saloma BOOYSEN 

1 Nedene BOTHA
2 Donna SIDUMBU 
3 Cebisa KULA 
4 Nolusindiso BOOI 
5 Dolly MAVUMENGWANA  
6 Nomathamsanqa FALENI  
7 Mandisa WILLIAMS (Captain) 
8 Namhla SIYOLO 


Substitutes (all used)
16 Nosipho POSWA 
17 Portia JONGA 
18 Onicca MOAGA 
19 Lamla MOMOTI
20 Fundiswa PLAATJIE 
21 Charmaine KAYSER 
22 Aimee BARRETT