Banyana Banyana, The Momentum Proteas and Springbok Women. All three of South Africa’s major sporting codes had competitive matches over the weekend – and it was an underappreciated delight.
While only one of the three teams managed to see a win through, this weekend provided a golden opportunity to see how they all measure up against international competition.
A tough tour for the Momentum Proteas
Cricket in South Africa has been on a downward spiral in terms of popularity over the last decade. Only recently, with passionate people in charge at the top, the tide seems to have turned.
While Women’s Cricket in South Africa turned professional just a few years ago, the Momentum Proteas have been holding their own against the best in the world. No doubt that they will dominate the sport in the not-so-distant future. However, for now, the focus is still on developing players.
The South African ladies spent the last couple of weeks in England, and it’s been a proper grind. Their results have not been as great as they hoped. They are on a run of five successive defeats. That includes a 3-0 One Day Internation series whitewash. They’ve also already lost their T20 series, with the score 2-0 with one match still to go.
🚨 RESULT | ENGLAND WOMEN WIN BY 6 WICKETS
Nat Sciver steadied England's innings as the #MomentumProteas applied the pressure in the early stages to swing the game towards the hosts. They chased down the 149-run target to seal the series#ENGvSA #AlwaysRising #BePartOfIt pic.twitter.com/KE4BAdSgU1
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) July 23, 2022
England is, at an estimate of Momentum Protea batter, Lara Goodall ahead of their tour, about ten years ahead of South Africa in developing Women’s cricketers. Still, our female outfit can be proud of the effort in the UK.
Springbok Women fall short in Japan
The Springbok Women have quite a way to go before they will truly be able to compete on the big stage. They proved as much this weekend in Japan.
While they secured two massive victories over African oppositions ahead of their tour, 128-3 v. Namibia and 108-0 v. Zimbabwe, they couldn’t come close to doing that same damage against a well-coached and more developed nation.
The massive 100+ victories could also have played a part in their defeat over the weekend, as it seemed like everyone wanted to be the hero. White-line-fever.
They enjoyed most of the possession and played in the right areas, but couldn’t unlock Japan’s defence. That saw them fall to a 15-6 defeat.
🏉 COMMENDABLE 🏉
Springbok Women coach Stanley Raubenheimer has praised his side for their effort during a 1⃣5⃣➖6⃣ defeat to Japan in the Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium in Iwate on Sunday. #SABCSportRugby pic.twitter.com/ApKRaeI8QJ
— SABC Sport (@SABC_Sport) July 25, 2022
The Springbok Women will get the opportunity to make up for the poor performance when they face Japan’s Women again this weekend.
Africa’s new Queens
The only successful team from the weekend, in the most important fixture from the weekend, Banyana Banyana, our Queens. The South African Women’s soccer team were crowned African champions on Saturday, following a stunning Women’s African Cup of Nations (WAFCON) campaign in Morocco.
Relive the pandemonium when the referee blew the final whistle:
Banyana finally got their hands on the trophy after featuring in five previous WAFCON finals. They had to settle for silver in 1995, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018.
There would be no such heartbreak for them this time, as they played a stellar game from the first whistle. While it took more than an hour to get their noses in front, a second would come just eight minutes later. Hildah Magaia the hero on the night after an important brace.
Morocco got themselves on the board with ten minutes to go in relegation time and made a late push to tie up the game. Luckily, Banyana’s defence held firm, and they could see out the win.
2-1 🆚 Nigeria
3-1 🆚 Burundi
1-0 🆚 Botswana
1-0 🆚 Tunisia
1-0 🆚 Zambia
2-1 🆚 Morocco
The only team to win all of their matches at the #TotalEnergiesWAFCON2022.
Banyana Banyana were a cut above the rest ✨ pic.twitter.com/7LvHq0UR9T
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) July 23, 2022
They even received a shout-out from the President himself.
Congratulations to @Banyana_Banyana on making history and winning their first ever title at the Women’s Africa Cup of National last night. They promised me that they would bring the trophy home. We cannot wait to welcome you back and thank you for flying the flag!🇿🇦 #WAFCON2022 pic.twitter.com/acJOIDIQEP
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) July 24, 2022