That is the view of interim head coach Louis Koen after the Springbok Women completed their final preparation camp with a match against the Barbarians in Cape Town on Saturday.
The famous UK-based club pipped their hosts by 38-26 at Athlone Stadium.
“This match gave us a lot of valuable information and just confirmed again that we need to play more matches against top tier teams,” said Koen.
“The Barbarians challenged our physicality and intensity, and we did not respond the way I would have liked. That showed some shortcomings in our game at just the right time for us.”
The Springbok Women played matches against the Kenya Lionesses, San Clemente Rhinos and the Barbarians in the space of a week and Koen said the coaching staff have a clear vision on their approach to their WXV opponents, Scotland, Italy and Samoa.
“It was a bit disappointing to be dominated physically, especially in the opening 20 minutes of the match,” he said.
“We did come back nicely in the second half, but this was not our best effort. We conceded too many penalties as well. It just shows that we need to play more European teams more often as you don’t get that from teams in Africa.”
The Springbok Women lost flanker Lerato Makua to a knee injury in the first half and Koen said it seems unlikely that she will be fit for WXV.
“We had some injuries along the way and that does not help our original team selections either,” he said.
“We will wait for all the medical feedback and then name the final squad of 30 for WXV. We did some good work at our camps in Stellenbosch, Potchefstroom and Krugersdorp and there was good growth as well.
“The pointers we got from especially the Baabaas game were timely and we will make the necessary adjustments when we get together next week.”
The Springbok Women will have their final opportunity to make tweaks before the tournament when they take on Samoa in Hermanus on 7 October. They will then face Scotland (13 October, Stellenbosch), Italy (20 October, Cape Town) and Samoa (27 October, Cape Town) in WXV.
The squad of 30 players to assemble in Cape Town next Sunday will be announced later this week.