They will face Madagascar on Friday morning, with another positive result likely to confirm their spot in the Cup quarter-finals, and for Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel, an improved performance on defence will be needed against their fellow African team at the tournament.

“We will have to defend better than we did today (Thursday) if we want to stay undefeated in this competition,” Dazel said after the Mexico victory.

“We were slow out of the blocks against Czechia and we cannot afford that tomorrow. We did not adapt that well to the conditions and the result showed that. We were unfortunate when our last try was ruled out, but that is part of the game.”

The slow start was compounded by heavy rain and muddy conditions, as well as a physical approach by the European side. South Africa scored first when Simamkele Namba went over close to the posts and Eloise Webb converted, with the only score of the half handing them a 7-0 lead.

Mathrin Simmers scored twice against Mexico.

Mathrin Simmers scored twice against Mexico.

The second half was even tougher as conditions worsened and the Bok Women conceded numerous breakdown penalties. From such a penalty near their own tryline, a quick tap penalty resulted in a converted try for Czechia and suddenly scores were level.

Namba scored what seemed to be the match winning try after the final buzzer following a strong break by Zintle Mpupha, but the try was disallowed due to obstruction earlier in the move.

Against Mexico, again in wet conditions, the South Africans were sharp from the start. Two early tries by Mathrin Simmers and a third by Eloise Webb raced them into a 19-0 lead before Namba got her second of the tournament just before the break, which handed the host nation a 26-0 lead.

The second half started as promising, with Ayanda Malinga crossing the whitewash to extend the lead to 31-0. Mexico managed to get some possession and attack with purpose, but the defence held firm.

Zintle Mpupha is stopped by the Mexican defence.

Zintle Mpupha is stopped by the Mexican defence.

Nadine Roos then scored her first try of the tournament when she broke wide from the scrumhalf position to run through untouched, with the 36-0 scoreline a good reflection of their dominance.

Madagascar await at 11h10 on Friday and Dazel said they will have to defend well again: “They play a lot like Mexico on attack and does not stop making tackles, so we need to keep pressing. The difference will be our effort on attack though. We went to sleep against Mexico in the second half a bit and cannot afford that against Madagascar.”

Scoring summary:

South Africa 7 (7), Czechia 7 (7)
South Africa
– Try: Simamkele Namba. Conversion: Eloise Webb.
Czechia – Try: Anežka-Marta Sládková. Conversion: Kristýna Plevová.

South Africa 36 (26), Mexico 0
South Africa
– Tries: Mathrin Simmers (2), Eloise Webb, Simamkele Namba, Ayanda Malinga, Nadine Roos. Conversions: Webb (3).