Border women pipped by WP in final

Despite a gallant effort, local side still go down

Border captain Aphiwe Ngwevu makes a break on her own surrounded by opponents and braces for impact as Kimico Manuel of WP prepares to defend during their women’s interprovincial rugby final played in Athlone, Cape Town on Saturday.
Border captain Aphiwe Ngwevu makes a break on her own surrounded by opponents and braces for impact as Kimico Manuel of WP prepares to defend during their women’s interprovincial rugby final played in Athlone, Cape Town on Saturday.
Image: Gallo Images/ Ashley Vlotman

The Border women’s rugby team showed plenty of heart but were in the end beaten by the better team as they went down 38-32 in a thrilling South African Women’s Interprovincial final against Western Province at the City Park Stadium in Athlone, Cape Town on Saturday.

For the third year in a row Western Province has had the better of Border in the final. However, the young Border team can be proud of their season and the way they have grown over a tough campaign.

The players will also take the lessons learnt this year to heart and should be a bigger force to contend with next year.

“I was so so proud of the girls. They played very well and gave it their best, so I can’t complain, but Western Province just managed to stay ahead of us,” said Border coach Nwabisa Ngxatu.

“The girls are so disappointed that they didn’t manage to win, but it was a very close game, and if a few calls went our way, as we had two disallowed tries in the second half, things might have been different.

I was so so proud of the girls. They played very well and gave it their best

“But it is a very good learning curve for the girls. They are a young team and they will continue to get better next season, so I am excited for next year and believe that they will be even stronger.”

In the match it was the better converting ability of the Western Province players that got them the win as the teams finished even at six tries apiece. But with Border only managing to convert one of their tries, Western Province converted four, giving them the six-point win.

The match started with the hosts getting off to a flyer, dotting down in the third minute, only for the visitors to hit back five minutes later as outside centre Chumisa Qawe scored, with fullback Chuma Qawe slotting the conversion to put Border 7-5 up.

Captain Aphiwe Ngwevu stretched Border’s lead with a try in the 21st minute, only for Western Province to hit back with an unconverted try of their own in the 27th to cut the deficit to two points at 12-10.

But it was Border who then finished the half stronger, as wing Nosiphiwo Goda went over for their third try in the 36th minute, giving them a solid 17-10 lead at half-time.

The second half was a back and forth affair as Western Province drew level with a converted try in the 44th minute, while Border moved back ahead with an unconverted score to replacement back Akhona Dotwana.

Western Province then went back in front with another converted try in the 56th minute, while Border continued to fight, retaking the lead with a 65th- minute try to prop Xolelwa Diliza, making the score 27-24 with 15 minutes remaining.

But two converted tries in two minutes saw Western Province move from a losing position to take a 38-27 lead with 11 minutes left, and despite Border giving their all to get back into the match, including scrumhalf Unam Tose dotting down in the 77th minute, that was as close as it got as Province sealed their third title in a row.

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