Sunday’s Rugby World Cup Pool C match between the Springbok women and Fiji will showcase two very contrasting styles of playing the game.
The Bok women aim to dominate Fiji in the set pieces, and with loosehead prop, Sanelisiwe Charlie, leading the charge, it will be among the forward pack that fortunes will hinge. South Africa takes on Fiji on Sunday morning at the Waitakere Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Springbok Women know the importance of getting a bonus-point win in their Rugby World Cup clash against Fiji this weekend, if they are to retain hopes of progressing to the knockout stage.
— SABC Sport (@SABC_Sport) October 11, 2022
Lining up to sing the national anthem with her team at the Rugby World Cup ranks as one of highlights of young Sanelisiwe Charlie’s playing career. The loosehead prop was part of a formidable forward pack that was able to put France on the backfoot at times in the opening match. And while South Africa lost their opening game to the French, it does not take away the achievements of all the players at the World Cup. Charlie didn’t even think she was in the World Cup picture, let alone that she would start the opening match.
“It was two years back when I heard about the world cup, I was so young I think I was 20 or 19 years old, and I did not think I would be part of the squad because the players the competitions the challenges that I have come through so I did not know I would be part of the squad going to the world cup. When the team was announced, that is when I thought I had made it to the squad. I am going to play in the world cup, I am going to the world cup in New Zealand but I didn’t expect that. I was going to start to play in the first match of the rugby world cup so that was the biggest achievement of my life”, says Springbok women loosehead prop Sanelisiwe Charlie.
The Springbok women emphasise teamwork, and it’s among the forwards that one really sees the values of working as a collective. Charlie, in particular, was able to win penalties at scrum time, which demonstrates superior individual technique, but she doesn’t speak about her own achievements, rather what she can contribute to the team. And against Fiji, Charlie wants her team to take the fight straight to the Islanders in a structured way.
“I played; the first half was fine for me. I played with the whole team like we usually do so I got another chance in the second half, I played for like 70 minutes, so it was a good game for me. I want to dominate the scrums. I want to win the mauls, I want to scrum to get penalties, I want to tackle them, I want to be involved in the game against Fiji. So, I am not doing that alone, I am doing it with my team”, Charlie adds.
The 21st ranked Fiji were on the end of a World Cup hiding by England in their opening match. However, at halftime England only led 24-14, and Fiji did cross the whitewash three times in the match. The Bok women cannot take anything for granted, not when they need this win before they face England later in the tournament.
VIDEO | Springbok Women’s rugby team preparing for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand: