Border, WP up for battle

Women’s final set to be a tightly contested showdown of titans

The Border women’s rugby team goes through their paces at training ahead of their final against Western Province at the Buffalo City Stadium on Saturday.
The Border women’s rugby team goes through their paces at training ahead of their final against Western Province at the Buffalo City Stadium on Saturday.
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

It is set to be a clash of the titans when the Border women’s rugby team welcome Western Province to the BCM Stadium for their South African women’s inter-provincial competition A section final on Saturday afternoon.

Border, who won four titles in a row up until 2016, and defending champs Western Province will be meeting in the final for the third successive season, while this will be the sixth year in a row that Border has hosted the final.

The two sides have been the dominant forces in SA women’s rugby over the last few years and an epic finale should be on the cards.

“The girls are more than ready for the match. They are completely psyched up, their mental strength is on point and that is very important going into the final,” said Border women’s head Mandisa Williams.

“The girls are more than ready for the match. They are completely psyched up, their mental strength is on point and that is very important going into the final,” said Border women’s head Mandisa Williams.

“We have home ground advantage. The team is extremely motivated and ready to get their title back.”

Adding an international flare will be a number of Springbok players in both teams going head to head against each other.

On Border’s side Springbok prop Asithandile Ntoyanto will be starting the match along with Springbok Women’s Sevens players Zintle Mpupha, Eloise Webb, Snenhlanhla Shozi and Fundiswa Plaatjie, who will play off the bench.

Western Province boasts the services of former Border captain Nolusindiso Booi, Veroeshka Grain, Kirsten Conrad and Babalwa Latsha.

Booi was a stalwart of the Border team during their winning run and will be lining up against them in a final for the first time this weekend.

“Both teams have a great rivalry and also a number of senior and national players. They know each other well and the bar is going to be raised,” said Williams.

“We are excited to see Sindi (Booi). I believe her heart is still with Border. She isn’t a rival to us. She is still a home girl and we are looking forward to playing against her in the final.”

Border has been hard at work over the last three days preparing for the final, with a training camp to make sure that the whole team is ready.

“The sessions have been hard but the girls have been enjoying every minute of it,” said Williams.

“We did all of what we were targeting, individual skills, set pieces, line outs and rucks, so I believe the team is as ready as they will ever be.”

The match should be a thrilling one and a close scoreline is expected, as only one of the last five matches between the two sides has been decided by more than nine points. Western Province won last year’s final in the dying moments by just two points.

It will also be an interesting contrast of styles, and should come down to whoever executes their plan the best.

“I think Western Province will play their usual fast paced game, their agility is on point and they have a lot of speed on outside,” said Williams.

“Our game is going to be slow, breaking their line, slowing the ball down. We want to make them frustrated and want to play most of the match in their 22m.”

The interprovincial B section final between the Lions and Boland will kick off at 1pm as the curtain raiser to the main match which will get under way at 3.30pm.

Border team (1-15):

Asithandile Notoyanto, Xolelwa Diliza, Yonela Ngxingolo, Zandile Khumalo, Thuliswa Capa, Yanga Ndabeni, Zandiwa Xozwe, Lusanda Dumke, Yolanda Sana, Zintle Mpupha, Snenhlanhla Shozi, Aphiwe Ngwevu, Eloise Webb, Simamkele Namba, Chuma Qawe.

Reserves 16-22: Sinazo Halom, Babalwa Baca, Anathi Qolo, Aviwe Basana, Anathi Qolo, Fundiswa Plaaitjie, Lufutha Nqatyiswa, Chumisa Qawe.

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