The result may not have swung in their favour, but the Springbok Women showcased unwavering resolve throughout the contest.
From the opening whistle, the Barbarians came charging like a storm, netting two tries in the first 10 minutes of the match. It was a daunting prospect, especially considering the Springbok Women's previous encounter with the Barbarians, which had ended in a 60-5 defeat in London two years ago.
However, this time, the South Africans remained undaunted and fought back with unyielding determination.
Their resurgence was marked by set-piece brilliance, which saw them level the score at 14-14 during the first half. Catha Jacobs ignited their comeback, securing the first try from a scrum as the No 8 gathered the ball at the back and surged over the try line.
The second try emanated from a precisely executed lineout, with Micke Gunter (hooker) claiming the five points after a formidable driving maul.
Despite the Barbarians' valiant efforts, they found themselves once again up against the resilient Springbok Women, who narrowed the gap with another impressive set-piece try from Gunter early in the second half.
At the 60-minute mark, the Barbarians staged a comeback, scoring a well-orchestrated set-piece try of their own from a lineout, with flanker Vicky Fleetwood crossing the line to make it 33-21.
The Bok Women's rhythm faced a setback when their playmaker, Libbie Janse van Rensburg, received a yellow card during a tense second half. The Barbarians capitalized on this temporary advantage, crafting a beautifully executed try through a grubber kick from Elinor Snowsill, setting up Elizabeth Goulden to score in the corner.
However, even as the odds seemed stacked against them, the Springbok Women's defence held firm, and their spirit remained unbreakable until the final whistle. Sinazo Mcatshulwa, a true powerhouse, put the finishing touches on the scoreboard, bulldozing her way over the line to bring the score to 38-26, mere moments before the end.
In the closing moments of the match, the Barbarians retained possession from the restart, but the Springbok Women's tenacious defence proved unyielding, as a final tackle near the touchline brought the game to a close, with the Barbarians victorious at 38-26.
Springbok Women 26 (14) – Tries: Catha Jacobs, Micke Gunter (2), Sinazo Mcatshulwa. Conversions: Libbie Janse Van Rensburg (3).
Barbarians 38 (28) – Tries: Christiana Balogun, Ailsa Hughes (2), Maria Magatti, Vicky Fleetwood, Elizabeth Goulden. Conversions: Elinor Snowsill (4).