Border high-riding star has bigger fish to fry in Sevens

DONE DEAL: Ball carrier Zintle Mpupha, centre, of Border Ladies seen in action during the 2016 Women’s Interprovincial Section A final against Western Province. Mpupha will be leaving the Border team Picture: GALLO IMAGES
DONE DEAL: Ball carrier Zintle Mpupha, centre, of Border Ladies seen in action during the 2016 Women’s Interprovincial Section A final against Western Province. Mpupha will be leaving the Border team Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Goodbye Border Women’s Rugby and Border Women Cricket as Zintle Mpupha bows out to bigger things.

The multi-talented Mpupha has landed herself a contract with the national women Sevens team for 2017 which requires that players reside in Stellenbosch at the national Sevens academy.

That effectively means Mpupha will have no time for Border teams, particularly rugby where she was the shining star this year.

Her departure will be a big blow to the Border rugby senior women’s side, especially on their aspirations to win the Interprovincial competition for the fifth time in a row next year.

This because Border’s success in the four occasions they have won the competition were largely owed to Mpupha’s individual brilliance.

Not only was the accurate flyhalf a solid penalty and conversions kicker but she was a try-scoring machine for Border.

She was Border’s highest point scorer in 2016, both for the provincial union’s 15s and Sevens sides.

Her heroics did not just end there but she scored a try for SA Women’s Sevens against Canada at the Dubai World Series last weekend.

And that was year 2016 for the Xesi-born multi-talented University of Fort Hare Human Movement Science graduate, one she described as “my best year ever”.

She explained: “My achievements in 2016 were overwhelming and I can simply say this was the year for me and I will forever be grateful for those who made it possible because I was not playing alone.”

And she will have plenty reasons to celebrate, especially on December 25 when she turns 23, also having completed her degree this very year.

Mpupha believes her departure from Border will not hamper nor deal their dominance in women’s rugby a blow.

“There are many capable players coming up the ranks who will come in and fill the gap as Border continue to dominate,” said Mpupha.

It was her influential role at Border that earned Mpupha a national call-up, something she last experienced three years ago.

She impressed Springbok Women’s Sevens coach Renfred Dazel at the training camp and in to the Dubai trip, where the SA side finished eighth.

“I enjoyed myself in Dubai although I came as a substitute in all six matches.

“The try I scored was a bonus although I could have scored more had I had more game time.”

Mpupha attributes her achievements in 2016 to her maturity as a player as well as her background which she said motivates her to strive to be the best in whatever she does. — zingisam@dispatch.co.za

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