A bonus point victory over Fiji at Waitakere Stadium in Auckland on Sunday is a must for the Springbok Women if they are to advance to the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
It was an easy message for team captain Nolusindiso Booi to convey to her squad on Saturday as they completed their traditional captain’s run at the stadium where three Rugby World Cup matches will be played tomorrow.
Our forwards, in my opinion, are crucial to this performance. We’ll have to put pressure on them with set pieces and even score tries through that route. If we can gain an advantage in the scrums and lineouts, it will result in penalties, from which we will be able to launch our point-scoring opportunities.
“We will either use our driving mauls, which were very effective against France last week, or kick for points whenever our kickers are in range. Whatever option is chosen, it must result in points on the board.”
She described their strategy against Fiji as simple: “We must keep the ball out of their hands. Those on the team who have met them on the world’s Sevens fields painted a clear picture of Fiji – how they love their offload game and how they love to run with the ball. To do so, we must deprive them of ball. And I believe our pack is up to the challenge.”
During the traditional jersey handover, the captain delivered a passionate message to the team, urging each player to strive for true perfection on game day.
“We were chosen for this tournament,” Booi explained.
“People have placed their trust in us to represent our country and to serve as an example to all young girls, demonstrating what is possible. We cannot let them down, but more importantly, we cannot let ourselves down. Each player worked extremely hard to get here, and now we must capitalise on this opportunity. We worked too hard to get here, and not giving it our all on Sunday would be a waste of time. Each player must ask herself why she is here and how she can perform at her best during the match.”