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Monday, October 3, 2022

‘There is always room for improvement,’ says Springbok women coach ahead of Spain Test

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Durban — The Springbok Women are enjoying a positive build-up to the imminent Cup in New Zealand and they can give their momentum another boost by beating Spain on Friday in Potchefstroom in the second match of the series (3pm kick-off).

The South Africa ladies were exceptional in beating Spain in last week’s curtain-raiser to the Springboks v All Blacks match at Ellis Park and they are determined to put in a similar effort in the re-match.

“We would want to play as well as we did in the first Test, but we know each game is a new game,” said coach Stanley Raubenheimer.

“We enjoyed last week but we have to start afresh, so the big focus is on what we have to do and to not look at Spain. They are going through a transitional period and are where we were three to four years ago when they beat us comfortably.

“There is always room for improvement such as our restarts which were not good last week.”

Raubenheimer said they are looking to dominate in a number of areas: “I would want them to dominate a bit more at scrum time and although our continuity was good enough, our decision-making at the end of the game was not good.

“A big thing for us in this Spanish block of games was to focus on our performance and our execution and hopefully we can get it a little bit better.”

Babalwa Latsha, who will lead the team in place of Nolusindiso Booi, said the excitement levels are high.

“The energy in the squad is fantastic,” said Latsha. “This week, we have been zooming in on some key focus areas that we identified. The chance to again play in front of a home crowd is also another boost, so we are looking forward to the game.

“Our main focus is on ourselves and what we need to do to be at our best at the Rugby Cup. Everything that we’ve been doing since the Africa Cup until now is in preparation for the Cup. So, I think that we are well on track, we’ve made great progress throughout the several weeks and we want to peak at the right time.”

Latsha also reflected on the social project the team has embarked on for the match.

“We linked up with the Menstruation Foundation,” she said. “The key thing is to raise as much funds as possible and to collect as many sanitary products as possible, which we will then distribute to women who don’t have access to it.

“So, the ‘entry fee’ for our game at the Fanie to Toit Stadium is a packet of sanitary products. We felt it fitting because it is Women’s Month and we’d like to carry on with that now and beyond to continue empowering young women especially.

“From a team perspective, we want to inspire the next generation of young women, and in order for us to do that, we have to be active participants of campaigns like this. Spectators should bring products and they can also donate R60 by scanning a QR code, which is all it takes to make sure that a girl is supplied with products for an entire year.”

@MikeGreenaway67

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