While the Springbok Women made an impressive start to their Rugby Africa Women’s Cup campaign when they thrashed Cameroon 87-0 in Antananarivo on Saturday, which means 28 of the top women’s players are unavailable for a couple of key matches in the Women’s Premier Division, the provincial teams’ depth was tested.

DHL Western Province enjoyed a bye in round three while the Bulls Daisies had to travel to Nelson Mandela Bay to face the EP Queens with a weakened side. Nevertheless, the Daisies proved a point when they emerged with an emphatic bonus-point win.

Round three commenced with the Mastercard Golden Lions Women beating the Boland Dames 21-20 at the Wits Rugby Stadium on Saturday. The visitors led 12-7 at the break, but a late rally ensured that the home team clinched a much-needed victory – the first of their campaign.

The result in Johannesburg sees the Lions moving up to fifth place on Women’s Premier Division log, and the Boland Dames, who had a big defeat in their season opener against WP last weekend, languishing in last spot.

The Border Ladies proved too strong for the Cell C Sharks Women in the match staged at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium in Mdantsane on Saturday. The defending champions ran in four tries in a 31-3 bonus-point victory.

The Ladies finished the round in third place, while the KwaZulu-Natalians – who have won one match and lost two – ended the weekend in sixth spot.

In the final game of the round, the Bulls Daisies cruised to a 34-10 win against the EP Queens at Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakele on Saturday. The visitors finished the contest with six tries, with national representatives Ayanda Malinga (wing) and Unathi Mali (outside centre) scoring two apiece.

The result in KwaZakele sees the unbeaten Daisies moving up to second place in the standings. While the team from Pretoria have accumulated the same number of log points as DHL WP, the Capetonians remain at the top of the table due to their superior points-difference.

Round 3 scoring summary:

Mastercard Golden Lions Women 21 (7), Boland Dames 20 (12)
Mastercard Golden Lions Women – Tries: Olwethu Nkotswana, Provia Mashiane, Piwokuhle Nyanda. Conversions: Marlene Axsel (3).
Boland Dames – Tries: Sinesisa Vuso, Theresa Ruiters, Lulu Tyibilika. Conversion: Ruiters. Penalty goal: Ruiters.

Border Ladies 31 (7), Cell C Sharks Women 3 (3)
Border Ladies – Tries: Nombuyekezo Mdliki, Khanya Ketani, Snenhlanhla Shozi, Hope Gosling. Conversions: Siphenathi Yeko (2), Siphenathi Yeko (2). Drop goal: Shozi.
Cell C Sharks Women – Penalty goal: Anesipho Malgas.

EP Queens 10 (10), Bulls Daisies 34 (34)
EP Queens – Tries: Raylene Noubos, Johnerecia Booysen.
Bulls Daisies – Tries: Ayanda Malinga (2), Unathi Mali (2), Maria Tshiremba, Zintle Nonkasana. Conversions: Shiniqwa Lamprecht (2).