It was so near, but yet so far for the South African Sevens women’s team.
They missed out on qualifying for the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series at the recent Hong Kong qualification tournament.
The coach Renfred Dazel was a disappointed man after his team’s World Series dream was crushed by a 22-10 defeat to Japan in the final of the Qualifier in Hong Kong.
“It is very disappointing not to qualify for the World Series. A victory would have put our system in a better position. However, the ladies did their best and I cannot fault their effort.
“We had a good build-up to this tournament, with one game where we played in front of a packed stadium and we now also have the experience of playing two games in front of a passionate crowd at the packed Hong Kong Stadium.
“We know that we can handle the pressure, but unfortunately effort errors cost us the game,” said Dazel.
The Sevens women are also based at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport (SAS). “We are really proud of what Renfred and his squad have achieved over the past few months. They worked exceptionally hard in preparation for this tournament and we are can only imagine their disappointment. But we know that the ladies will come back from this setback and keep on working to achieve their dreams,” said Rob Benadie, CEO of SAS.
Looking ahead, Dazel said they would have a break before getting back to the drawing board and the training field.
“The ladies will have a good rest after this, and then we will get back to training. We have a tournament in Tunisia in September and there is a possible Roma Sevens tournament that we could participate in.
“Our focus for now, however, will be to get more players in the system and we could possibly look at getting players from different sporting codes.
“We may have lost out on the opportunity to get back onto the World Series, but we are still looking to qualify for the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.”