They have taken all of the positives out of the match, won 40-5 by France, and are ready to apply that to their preparations for the match at Waitakare Stadium in Auckland on Sunday, the second for both teams in Pool C, with kick-off scheduled for 06h45 (SA time).
According to utility forward Catha Jacobs, the score line was not a fair reflection on what happened at Eden Park on Saturday and having had a look at the breakdown of the match, the Bok Women will take on Fiji with a very positive mindset.
“The stats speak volumes of our effort. We had 49% possession and 17.1 attacking minutes, compared to France's 51% and 17.6 attacking minutes,” said Jacobs.
“Yes, France did use their opportunities so much better, especially in the first 20 minutes when they scored three tries, but we came back into the game and that was a very pleasing aspect.”
Jacobs, a former lock of the Blue Bulls who has re-signed with Saracens in England, played 17 minutes against France and said she is keen to have a go at Fiji, who suffered an 84-19 defeat against England.
“We have never played Fiji, so we are expecting the unexpected to be honest,” she said.
“We know they can be unpredictable, and they scored some nice tries against England, but they cannot play without the ball, it is as simple as that.
“If we can dominate up front and dictate play, we will do well. We need to have the majority of the possession, as they cannot play without the ball.”
For Jacobs, Sunday’s game must deliver more of the same for South Africa, but the execution will have to be better.
“We dominated the set pieces against France I thought,” she said. “We had the upper hand in the scrums and lineouts and managed to sack their rolling maul a couple of times.
“Sadly, they scored some tries through individual defensive lapses, something we will have to do better, as Fiji have some destructive runners in their side.”
The foundation of a win over Fiji – the sides have never met at international level – will be laid upfront, Jacobs insisted.
“As we saw in the penalty stats, we conceded fewer penalties that France. They conceded more because they were under more pressure than us, mainly because our forwards had the upper hand in those first phases,” she said.
“More of that will again give us a solid foundation to play from. We need to keep the ball away from their dangerous backs.”
A bonus point win over Fiji will be crucial for their ambitions in the remainder of the competition, said Jacobs.
“Yes, we must get the full house if we want to stay on track for a potential top-eight finish, so we need to go out there and make sure we get the four tries and then secure the win,” she said.
“That will put us in a much better position on the log. We are in 10th at the moment, so a good performance against Fiji will push us up the ladder in the right direction.”