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Friday, September 30, 2022

We won’t back down from Spanish challenge, say Springbok Women ahead of Ellis Park Test

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Cape Town — The Springbok Women’s side are not planning on “giving Spain the match” like they did the last time the two sides met.

So says South Africa scrumhalf Unam Tose as they head into the first of two Women’s Winter Series Test matches on home soil.

The South Africans will take on Spain at Ellis Park at 1pm on Saturday.

Spain have won all three previous encounters between the two countries. The last time they met was in 2019, when the Spanish won 29-12 in Despatch.

In 2018, Spain beat SA 17-5 in Nilijyoso, and in 2014, the Spaniards thumped the Springbok Women 36-0 in Paris.

While all three of those results were in Spain’s favour, Tose zoomed in on their most recent encounter and highlighted their goal for this match.

“We gave them the match that day (in Despatch), we did not play at our best, that is the memory I have of that match,” the 22-year-old recalls. “We certainly are not planning to do the same on Saturday (today).”

Tose, who played all but one of her eight Test matches off the bench, is excited about being part of the starting XV in Johannesburg.

“I last started in 2019, so this is an exciting opportunity,” she said.

“It will be a personal challenge as well, but one that I look forward to. Coming off the bench gives one time to read the game and feel the intensity and flow of the game, so when you go onto the field, you know what to expect and what to do.

“This time around, with me starting, it means that I will have to be in the game from the start and making the right decisions immediately. There will not be time to first look, I will have to be in the game from the start and that is something that I look forward to.”

In addition to embracing the challenges that will come with the starting berth, Tose added that they are confident about their chances against Spain.

“There will be extra pressure because I don’t have the advantage of watching from the side first, but I am ready for that,” she said.

“I can feel we are ready for another win. We are looking strong and trained well, and the win over Japan made the confidence go higher.

“We are wearing the green and gold tomorrow and that will inspire us to do our absolute best. We are playing for our country and that demands our best effort. The fact that this team have bonded so well makes it a pleasure to play for them.”

The players are known to break out in song often and for the No 9, it’s about more than just creating a vibe: “Where I come from in the Eastern Cape (Tsholomnqa), we sing when things are not going well and that gives us strength. The same applies to this team and that makes me feel at home.”

Springbok women’s team to face Spain: 15 Nadine Roos 14 Ayanda Malinga 13 Zintle Mpupha 12 Chumisa Qawe 11 Simamkele Namba 10 Libbie Janse van Rensburg 9 Unam Tose 8 Aseza Hele 7 Rights Mkhari 6 Sizophila Solontsi 5 Catha Jacobs 4 Nolusindiso Booi (captain) 3 Babalwa Latsha 2 Lindelwa Gwala 1 Asithandile Ntoyanto

Replacements: 16 Roseline Botes 17 Yonela Ngxingolo 18 Monica Mazibukwana 19 Lerato Makua 20 Lusanda Dumke 21 Rumandi Potgieter 22 Zenay Jordaan 23 Chuma Qawe

@WynonaLouw

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