Border Women have much to prove in final
Newlands showdown a chance for young team to gain recognition and better opportunities in rugby
It’s a mixture of excitement and anxiety in the Border Women camp ahead of their Women’s Premier Division final encounter with Western Province on Friday in Cape Town.
Border and WP will renew their rivalry as they fight to be the best team in the country; the battle at Newlands promises to deliver fireworks.
The last time the teams met in the final in 2019, it was WP who came out on top.
The East London side has done well this season under the guidance of head coach Nwabisa Ngxatu, but the road to the final was not all smooth sailing.
They started the season by felling teams but, after that great start, lost back-to-back games against WP and EP Queens.
However, they showed great mettle to bounce back with victories against the Blue Bulls Women, Sharks and Boland Dames to secure their spot in the final.
The final berth is a huge achievement for Ngxatu and her team who are excited but also nervous ahead of the main event, which will lead to greener pastures for the Border Women if they win.
“It means a lot to me — it’s my second term and it’s an achievement to play in a final,” the former Springbok flanker said.
“The girls are a bit excited but they are holding back.
“They are scared of making mistakes, but we are encouraging them to ask questions and make mistakes as we prepare.
“If we win against WP it would mean we’ll have more Springboks, because we’ll be noticed.
“Our girls will be invited to the camps and they will see they can play.
“If we can win this game for sure they will notice them,” she said.
Captain Lusanda Dumke is proud to have been the leader of the young team.
Her presence and influence on the core have been visible on and off the field.
What has been pleasing for Dumke is how they managed to thrive and reach the final; doing so proved their doubters wrong.
“I’m very excited; for most of our girls it’ll be their first final. For most of them it’s their first year of playing for the first team,” Dumke said.
“According to what I’m seeing it hasn’t sunk in that they are playing a final of the First Division.
“I’m pretty sure they are excited and nervous; they have mixed emotions.
“I’m happy for myself, leading youngsters and getting to the final unexpectedly.
“A lot of people did not believe in us because we are playing with a young team that have no experience.
“But they proved themselves in each and every game, and I can’t wait for them to have that experience,” she said.
Border will leave for Cape Town on Thursday and the final is set for a 4pm kickoff on Friday.
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