'Impressive': Honour In Defeat For Army Women After South Africa Clash

The British Army Women rugby union stars have lost to South Africa, after the touring side ran in five tries at Aldershot...

The British Army Women rugby union stars have lost to South Africa, after the touring side ran in five tries at Aldershot.

The 27-5 victory for the international outfit was the first time they have been welcomed to the home of the British Army - and a chance for the home side to test themselves against a team ranked just outside the world top ten.

Despite enjoying success on the inter-services circuit and themselves having a number of international players, the Army side has a tendency to be slow out of the blocks and were caught cold as South Africa scored the opening try inside the first five minutes.

Army Women v South Africa Women

Unathi Mali cut past a number of defenders for an unconverted score, before the Springbok women waltzed in for a second try just a few minutes later.

Mali again finished off a straightforward attacking move to scoot home and double the advantage.

The Army gradually grew in confidence, however, and it was South Africa's turn to hit the panic button.

A succession of infringements led to a pair of yellow cards - and the Army looked to force home their two-player advantage.

Army Women v South Africa Women

The pressure eventually told. With gaps appearing across the Springboks' back line, Lou Dodd plucked out Findy Parker.

The Scotland sevens specialist galloped in to score on her full debut for the service side.

Unfortunately for the Army, Dodd fell just short with her conversion attempt, leaving them trailing 10-5 at the break.

The second half saw the Army continue with their attacking intent but despite moments of class the final pass often failed to reach its intended target.

Army Women v South Africa Women

Instead it was the touring side who took their chances to extend the lead.

Celeste Adonis scored from close quarters to put South Africa 15-5 up, before the visitors closed out the match with two more tries.

Mali dived over to complete her hat-trick, before Kamolhele Makoele ghosted past some tired Army defenders to touch down under the posts for a 27-5 victory.

It means the South Africans warmed up for their training games against England with a win. South Africa Select head coach Eddie Myners said:

"I must say, I'm very impressed with the British Army. [They have] some very, very good ladies in their team and they tested us to the top limit."

"It's an awesome experience to play against such a quality side."

The Army, meanwhile, will take a number of positives from the performance ahead of their next match, against Germany.

The try scorer, Lieutenant Parker, described playing against South Africa as 'phenomenal', adding:

"To play this level, with... a side this good, is unreal."

Head coach, Captain Glyn Barraclough, said: "I think it was an absolutely fantastic game.

"It was a great advert for women's rugby, and it was the type of challenge that we try to aspire to."

The Army's game with Germany will take place in Heidelberg in December.

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