Photo Essay: Women Springboks Played Herstoric First Test Match In Cape Town By Cheryl Roberts

1 Oct

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It was the first women’s rugby Test match ever played in Cape Town. It was played on Monday, 29 October 2019 at City Park sports ground, an iconic rugby ground built by the communty’s sports administrators where anti-apartheid rugby was played during the horrendous apartheid era in South Africa. Kick off was at 5pm.
It was South Africa’s national women’s rugby team, the Springboks up against the national team from Scotland. Women’s rugby is growing in popularity and particiption numbers around the world and both national teams wanted to desperately win the match to increase their international profile and competitiveness. They also wanted to show their national controlling rugby federations that their women’s rugby team was improving and worthy of much more support.
I watched Scotland in the warm-ups. They looked fresh, ambitious and rearing to hit the field. I watched the women Springboks arriving at the stadium. I didn’t recognise much of the players, despite my watching and documenting some women’s interprovincial rugby matches, this season.
I spoke briefly to some of the players: asked their names, where they from in SA and their ages. Much of the Springbok team playing against Scotland were the young, emerging players taken out of the SA under 20 team. With several older and a little more experiened Springboks injured and out of competition for now, it was the younger players that were called up to Springbok duty.

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Scotland dominated play as the kick off ball was kicked into play and they regularly increased their scoreline with lots of tries. South Africa tried to retaliate and get more ball action into Scotland’s half. For those efforts, SA managed to score a try. But a Springbok team featuring several young, inexperienced players was always going to be found wanting, if not out of its depth. This wasn’t the strongest 2019 Springbok team. At best, it was South Africa’s second team representing South Africa. Scotland won the match with a scoreline somewhere in the 40’s with South Africa having just 5 points for her lone 5.
I watched and documented the match. And these are my photographs depicting the Test action of what was an herstorical sports moment in Cape Town, in what is 25 year old post-apartheid South Africa…………

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Photographs By Cheryl Roberts
Photographs are not to be used without permission/authorisation of Cheryl Roberts

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