The Springbok Women’s Sevens team became the ninth team to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after beating Kenya 31-5 in the final of African regional qualifier in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The home team lived up to their billing as favourites by going through the tournament unbeaten, scoring 265 points and conceding only five in their six matches at the Barnard Stadium in Kempton Park.
South Africa beat Zimbabwe, Namibia and Zambia on Saturday before completing their pool stages with a 39-0 victory over Uganda on day two, setting up a Cup semi-final against Tunisia.
Tries from Phumeza Gadu (2), Marithy Pienaar (2), Nosiphiwo Goda and Rachelle Geldenhuys saw South Africa to a 34-0 victory and a final against second seeds Kenya, who powered past Zimbabwe 39-0 in the other semi-final.
Kenya actually scored first in the Cup final, but tries from Gadu and captain Zenay Jordaan (2) saw South Africa take a 17-5 advantaged into the half-time break. Further tries for Gadu and Goda were enough to see the Springbok women secure the Rugby Africa title.
Three places remain at Rio 2016
In other matches Botswana won the Bowl by defeating Zambia 12-5, Uganda beat Namibia 36-0 to finish ninth, Madagascar won the Plate with a 15-0 defeat of Senegal and Tunisia overpowered Zimbabwe 33-0 to claim third.
While South Africa claim Africa’s direct place at Rio 2016, the Olympic dream is still alive for Kenya, Tunisia and Zimbabwe who will represent the continent at the global repechage tournament next year which will determine the 12th and final qualifier.
South Africa join the already qualified teams in New Zealand, Canada, Australia and England (Team GB), who booked their place by finishing as the top four teams in the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series last season and have since been joined Colombia, USA and France through their respective regional tournaments.
The regional qualifiers for Oceania and Asia take place in November with Brazil having already qualified automatically as the host nation.
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