The 2019 Women’s Premier Division finalists, DHL Western Province and the Border Ladies, proved once again why they deserve to battle it out for the title this season after further victories in the penultimate pool round of the competition.
DHL Western Province delivered a strong second-half performance against the Cell C Sharks Women at a soaking wet Newlands in Cape Town for a 29-5 victory, while the Border Ladies scored a try at the death against the Boland Dames in Wellington for a nail-biting 24-22 victory.
In the Women’s First Division, the Valke outclassed the Limpopo Blue Bulls with an impressive 61-12 victory in Brakpan to move into second place on the standings in Group 2 behind the Mastercard Golden Lions Women, while Griquas held their nerve for a 27-22 win in a tightly-fought Group 1 encounter against the Griffons in Kimberley.
Break-away second half steers DHL WP to ninth win
A second half break-away steered DHL Western Province to their ninth consecutive Women’s Premier Division victory of the season against the Cell C Sharks Women, with the team earning a 29-5 victory at a soaking wet Newlands on Saturday.
The KwaZulu-Natalians got off the mark quickly with a try by Springbok Women’s loose forward Sizo Solontsi in the fourth minute, and that proved to be the only points in the half as a combination of handling errors and solid defence kept both teams at bay.
The Capetonians – who will be hoping to defend their title in the final two weeks – created try-scoring opportunities in the first half, but crucial errors close to the tryline denied them from capitalising on them.
The hosts, however, found their rhythm in the second half and improved their finishing, which allowed them to score four unanswered tries, while Bok Women’s utility back Zintle Mpupha kept the scoreboard ticking with her fine form all around.
Mpupha scored a try and kicked three conversions and a penalty goal to contribute 14 points in the match. She put her team on the scoreboard with a try in the 49th minute and then added the extra two as well as a penalty goal shortly after to push them into a 10-5 lead.
This bolstered their confidence and they did particularly well to make use of the space out wide, and the rewards followed with Simamkele Namba (wing) touching down twice in the 60th and 79th minutes and Donelle Snyders (fullback) in the 74th minute.
The Cape Town team backed this up with a solid defensive effort, which denied the Cell C Sharks Women from adding to their score, and this saw the home side seal the convincing 29-5 victory.
DHL Western Province 29 (0) – Tries: Zintle Mpupha, Simamkele Namba (2), Donelle Snyders. Conversions: Mpupha (3). Penalty goal: Mpupha.
Cell C Sharks Women 5 (5) – Try: Sizo Solontsi.
Border Ladies burgle unlikely win in Wellington
An injury time try by their inspirational captain, Lusanda Dumke, secured the Border Ladies a hard-fought 24-22 victory over Boland Dames in an entertaining Women's Premier Division clash in Wellington on Saturday.
With time up on the clock, Border were awarded a scrum just outside the Boland 22 and after five minutes of keeping the ball alive, Dumke finally raced away for their fourth and match-winning try.
It was heart-breaking for Boland, seemed to be firmly in control after two brilliant tries from clever tactical kicks – by Theresa Ruiters and Amber Meiring – coupled with rock-solid defence saw them lead by 22-12 with less than 10 minutes on the clock.
But Border dug deep, first with a 76th minute converted try by Yandisa Nobanda, before Dumke scored the match winner.
The first half was a proper arm-wrestle on the wet field, with Border taking a 12-10 lead into the break courtesy of two tries, by Asisipho Plaatjies and Nqatyiswa Lufutha, in the final 15 minutes of the half.
The opening exchanges belonged to the home team as their powerful pack had the visitors on the back foot and after a number of Border transgressions on their own try-line, it wasn't surprising to see Boland given a penalty try for a superb scrum.
The ever-reliant Demi Nel added a penalty goal a few minutes later as the Dames took a 10-0 lead, before Border took their opportunities to score, which they repeated late in the match for the win.
Boland Dames 22 (10) – Tries: Theresa Ruiters, Amber Meiring, Penalty try. Conversion: Demi Nel. Penalty goal: Nel.
Border Ladies 24 (12) – Tries: Asisipho Plaatjies, Lusanda Dumke, Nqatyiswa Lufutha, Yandisa Nobanda. Conversions: Lufutha, Nobanda.
Valke outclass Limpopo Blue Bulls in Brakpan
The Valke were in sublime form against the Limpopo Blue Bulls in Brakpan as they registered their second big victory in a row, with the team running in 11 tries for a memorable 61-12 victory.
Centre Mosa Mphahlele was in top form scoring a hat-trick, while Awethu Stonga (flanker) and Bodmas Sithole (wing) each earned a brace in the match in which seven different players crossed the tryline.
Valke 61 (10) – Tries: Anelisiwe Mxabo, Awethu Stonga (2), Juanine Jacobs, Bodmas Sithole (2), Mosa Mphahlele (3), Lifters Moremi, Sinelitha Noxeke. Conversions: Thato Molefe (2), Edwaline Dickson.
Limpopo Blue Bulls 12 (5) – Tries: Kolobe Makgoka, Jibrine Dube. Conversion: Valencia Mthembi.
Griquas hold their nerve to shut out Griffons
Griquas held their nerve in a nail-biting encounter against their neighbours, the Griffons, at Tafel Lager Park on Saturday for a narrow 27-22 victory, with their five tries to four by the opposition sealing the win.
It was a tight affair from the outset with the teams entering the break tied at 12-12, but the home side fought through for a valuable home win.
Griquas 27 (12) – Tries: Jane Beukes, Simone Cloete, Bullie Mayongo, Tiffany Visagie, Antoinette Kotze. Conversion: Lana Hendricks.
Griffons 22 (12) – Tries: Gina Moya, Nomonde Gama, Danele Schutte, Mella Smith. Conversion: Queen Nkhabu.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Rugby Union.