Koen proud of his players after sealing Rugby World Cup qualification

Koen proud of his players after sealing Rugby World Cup qualification

Springbok Women head coach Louis Koen applauded his troops for their disciplined performance in their final match of the Rugby Africa Women's Cup on Sunday.

The victory over Madagascar not only confirmed their Rugby World Cup 2025 qualification, but also sealed WXV 2 entry.

The South Africans beat Madagascar by 46-17 to defend their title as African champions and kept their undefeated record at Stade Makis in Antananarivo, which now stands at six consecutive Tests.

"I am very proud of their effort today, but also in the first two matches of the tournament," said Koen.

"It is tough playing three matches in 10 days and credit to the players who came out today and executed well. We really played well in the first half to lay the foundation for the win.

"We did concede tries that we will not normally do, but credit to Madagascar, who never stopped trying and pushing hard with the huge crowd behind them. We can certainly learn from these spectators how to support women's rugby; they were really good today."

Koen said their opponents' unconventional approach could easily have worked, but the Bok Women stuck to their patterns and plays and did not allow the home side into the game at all.

"They really play a different style of rugby, but we shut them out in that first half and laid a proper foundation for the win," said Koen, who took charge of the team just over a year ago and believes the future of the Springbok Women is bright.

"We have a big number of regulars not here at this tournament and it is credit to those less experienced players who stepped up here in Madagascar and made sure we are going to England next year.

"Qualifying for the Rugby World Cup is a massive boost to all involved and I can only thank the stakeholders, players and management who walked this journey together. The game can only grow and improve from here."

South Africa's captain, Nolusindiso Booi, agreed with Koen: "We play to inspire the next girl or woman to pick up a rugby ball and I think this win and qualifying for the Rugby World Cup will mean so much to those who want to see the game grow.

"We are on the big stage and belong there, so the next steps are important. We laid the foundation for the next phase and it is so exciting to be part of it. Credit to the players, but so much praise must go to the coaches who prepared us so well for this."

The Bok Women will arrive in South Africa on Monday and the players will return to their provinces for the Women's Premier Division.

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