WALES Women claimed a deserved victory against South Africa in a lunchtime kick-off at Cardiff Arms Park, outscoring their opponents three tries to one.
While the Springboks are not the force in the women’s game that they are in the men’s - they lie 13th in the world rankings compared to ninth-placed Wales – it was still a more than creditable win for the hosts.
Wales were grateful to tries from Olympian winger Jasmine Joyce, No.8 Sioned Harries and hooker Carys Phillips. Outsidehalf Robyn Wilkins supplied the rest of the points with her boot.
In difficult conditions Wales were forced to dig deep, their lineout malfunctioning at times.
But Rowland Phillips’ side were never seriously troubled during the first-half, with South Africa offering little attacking threat,
By the interval, scores from Joyce and Harries, as well as a Wilkins conversion, established a 12-0 lead for the home side.
That advantage really should have been more emphatic and would have been if tighthead prop Amy Evans hadn’t been held up after crossing the try line.
The visitors came more into it in the second period, and Wales didn’t help themselves by having Harries sin-binned for illegally slowing down the ball.
South Africa used their numerical advantage to exert sustained pressure, but Wales defended magnificently.
Bok flanker Lusanda Dumke did get over for a try before the end, but the home side had the last word through Phillips’ score.
The result should provide confidence ahead of the clash with Hong Kong on Friday evening.
The sternest examination of November will then be set by Canada on Saturday November 24.