Samoa moves up World Rugby Women’s Rankings

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Samoa will move up one place to 15th in the World Rugby Women’s Rankings powered by Capgemini when they are officially updated at 12 noon (GMT) on Monday, on the back of a 17-17 draw against South Africa in Hermanus.

In what was the sides’ final warm-up match before WXV 2 gets underway in Stellenbosch on Friday, the hosts started fastest and dotted down twice in the opening 20 minutes.

With less than six minutes on the clock, and having just been held up in-goal, the Springbok Women launched an attack that finished with Libbie Janse van Rensburg providing a pin-point scoring pass for Veroeshka Grain.

That was followed 13 minutes later by a try for captain Babalwa Latsha, who crashed over from close range following a strong driving maul.

Janse van Rensburg then had a try chalked off for a foot in touch, and Samoa accepted the invitation to get back into the match.

Fly-half Cassie Siataga chipped away at the deficit with a penalty before her conversion of Olalina Tafoulua’s try levelled the scores heading into half-time.

It took Samoa less than two minutes of the second half to score their second try, through winger Allison Futialo, and take the lead for the first time.

However, Manusina lost number eight Nina Foaese to the sin-bin soon afterwards and the Springbok Women took full advantage to send debutant Maceala Samboya over in the corner.

Janse van Rensburg converted to draw the scores level once again and despite some late Samoan pressure, and a Samboya yellow card, that is how it remained at full-time.

The draw cost the hosts one rating point, but they remain ahead of Spain in 12th in the rankings, albeit the gap is now down to 0.05 points.

Samoa, meanwhile, gained one point and moved above the Netherlands and into 15th ahead of their opening WXV 2 match against USA on Saturday.

The Springbok Women kick off their WXV 2 campaign against Scotland on Friday and the teams will meet again in the final round of tournament matches, in Cape Town on 27 October.

SOURCE: WORLD RUGBY/PACNEWS