That came courtesy of a 17-10 victory over Belgium in the final of the first tournament played at Markötter Stadium in Stellenbosch last Saturday, and although it was good reward for their effort, Springbok Women’s Sevens flyhalf Eloise Webb warned on Tuesday that they can’t take anything for granted at the second tournament this weekend at the same venue.
“It was a massive relief for us to be able to win the first tournament as every log point will be crucial and we are now on top,” said Webb.
“The knowledge that we were rewarded for our efforts also brought relief. We trained very hard for this and to know we got something out of it, makes it rewarding and certainly took the pressure off.”
The experienced flyhalf, who scored 15 points during the opening three days of the first tournament, made it clear though that the South Africans can’t rest on their laurels when they take on Paraguay and Madagascar on Friday and Thailand on Saturday in their pool matches.
“There is no way we can now sit back and relax, the job is only half done,” she said. “We are not there yet and everyone is very much aware of that. We started at zero again this week and we will build up the momentum towards Friday’s games.”
Webb, who has played in two Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments for South Africa, believes the team can still improve: “We were not perfect by any means, in fact, our attack was not close to what it can be.
“We defended well, but even there, we conceded early tries that put us under pressure, like in the final against Belgium. We will be working this week to streamline the attack and will be looking to that area of play to improve come the weekend.”
China scored 23 tries in their six matches, followed by Poland (20), while Belgium and South Africa scored 18 each. Tries scored will come into play if teams are tied on top of the standings after Sunday's final. Points’ difference will be the first eliminator and if teams are still tied then, the number of tries will be used.
Selected SA stats:
25: Ayanda Malinga
16: Nadine Roos
15: Marlize de Bruin, Eloise Webb, Simamkele Namba
5: Ayanda Malinga
3: Marlize de Bruin, Simamkele Namba
6: Eloise Webb
3: Nadine Roos