Rugby Tens Championship Off To an Electric Start In Pretoria

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Media release issued by Terras Communications on behalf of Rugby Tens Championship

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – If you missed the return of the Rugby Tens Championship in Pretoria today, here is a round-up of all the action ahead of day two at Loftus Versfeld Stadium.

Women | Balkans Honey Badgers 24 – 12 Cape Town Wild Dogs

It was an electric start to the days play as the Balkans Honey Badgers began their day with victory. This included a brace of tries for the impressive Stellahj Wafula, who put on display her immense experience to her team’s opening performance, as Kaitlin Shave also got in on the action.

It was hardly a fruitless outing for the Wild Dogs, who set themselves up for their second game of the day with scores through South Africa international Felicia Jacobs and Canadian, Tianna Janfield.

Men |Blue Bulls 24 – 12 Balkans Honey Badgers

(Photo by Johan Rynners/Gallo Images)

In their first ever Rugby Tens Championship game, the Blue Bulls Daisies began their two-week campaign in emphatic fashion. Tries were scored by scrum-half Jack Hart, tighthead prop JP Alberts, Curtley Brinkhuis and Masilu Lemekwane.

The Balkans Honey Bedgers would not leave the field scoreless. Crossing the try line twice, it was Le Roux Malan and Kelegh Moutome who added some more respect to the final result.

(Photo by Johan Rynners/Gallo Images)

Men | Cape Town Wild Dogs 7 – 0 San Clemente Rhinos

To begin their day, the Cape Town Wild Dogs put out a defensive play to be marvelled at. Scoring through Zimbabwe international Hilton Mudariki, the team coached by Ryno Combrinck and Dan van Zyl had to stand tall in defense to beat a San Clemente Rhinos side that boasted the mercurial talents of Ed Coulson and Mikey Te’o.

Women | Serengeti Elephants 32 – 12 Blue Bulls Daisies

For the Serengeti Elephant’s women’s side, they started their day at Harlequins Rugby Club in emphatic fashion. Taking on tournament newcomers, tries rained in from Rosie Kelly, Carys Dallinger, Elena-Ricardo Henning Teilah Fergusson, Harmony Ioane and Shakira Baker.

It was only when the Elephants squad began to tire as a result of their excursions that the Daisies got a hold of the game. This resulted in tries for Sophy Mashapa and vice-captain, Marlize de Bruin, the fleet of foot back running nearly the length of the field to dot down.

Women | Balkans Honey Badgers 12 – 5 San Clemente Rhinos

Following the first break of the day was the Honey Badgers Women. After picking up a win in their first game, they did so again to upset the San Clemente Rhinos in their first outing of the day, Rhinos did get on the scoreboard first, registering a try through Kenyan Christabel Lindo, but would be kept silent from that point onward.

With Holland international Pleuni Kievit pulling the strings, Australia’s Kaitlin Shave was sent over the line, while the winning score came from Stellah Wafula. It meant that later in the day, it was all for to lose for Frankie Horne’s Rhinos against the Blue Bulls.

Men | Balkans Honey Badgers 5 – 33 Serengeti Elephants

From minute one, this was the Serengeti Elephants’ game to lose. They opened the scoring through Patrick Madden, the American latching onto a kick through the onrushing defenders. Pat O’Toole was the next player in on the action, and was shortly followed by Danny Tusitala and then Biselele Tshamala.

It was tougher going for the Elephants in the second half, who conceded a try to the Badgers’ Kelegh Moutome. Despite having not had the better of the second half, it was Divan Enslin’s score for Serengeti that was the final nail in the Honey Badgers’ coffin.

Women | Serengeti Elephants 12 – 22 Cape Town Wild Dogs

After their tough start to the day, the Cape Town Wild Dogs replied emphatically. Their win over the Elephants included a hat-trick of tries for two-time Olympian Janet Okelo. The Kenyan opened the scoring, but her team were pegged back in the minutes that followed with scores for Rosie Kelly and Harmony Ioane.

Cape Town would respond to end as winners, as Okelo completed her trio of scores and Poland’s Natalia Pamieta got in on theta on too.

Women | Blue Bulls Daisies 0 – 22 San Clemente Rhinos

As much as it seemed a run of the mill win for Rhinos in their second game, the side led by Grace Kukutai had to battle hard for a first win.Opening the scoring through a hard-earned try through Marithy Pienaar and then Japan’s Suzuha Okamoto.

It was in the second half that that the game was really won. Consolidating their success with a try for two-time Olympian and Japan international, Chiharu Nakamura and concluded the game with a score through South African, Thandeka Shongwe.

Men | Cape Town Wild Dogs 19 – 12 Serengeti Elephants

This was a game that, frankly, had it all. Danny Tusitala was the first scorer of the afternoon, the Samoa international scoring largely thanks to the strong leg-drive of Ryan James. Tusitala was duly shown a yellow card in the minutes that followed for an altercation with an opposition player.

Before the half was up, the Wild Dogs did strike back through the electric Brock Gallagher.

Gallagher would be the next scorer in the game, handing his team the lead for the first time. Things would be levelled thanks to Patrick Madden’s strong carry across the whitewash. It took until the closing stages for the game to be won, Rosco Syster’s searing pace taking him beneath the posts for a try and simple conversion.

Men | San Clemente Rhinos 24 – 19 Blue Bulls

Another high-scoring game, it took a late Sama Malolo try to decide this fixture. Rhinos began the scoring through Blitzbok Branco du Preez, his effort quickly wiped out by back-to-back Blue Bulls scores, those efforts registered by Masilu Lemekwane and Kyle Liebenberg.

In a swing of momentum, San Clemente would score their own double, this time Malolo and JP du Plessis the men to crash over. After the break, the Daisies took the lead once more through Chaney Willemse. Malolo’s second of the afternoon was scored in close quarters, the hooker bundled over after being camped just metered out from the whitewash for several phases of play.

Women | Blue Bulls Daisies 7 – 55 Balkans Honey Badgers

Scoring nine tries on their way to an emphatic victory, the Balkans Honey Badgers continued their dominance that they had shown in their previous two outings. There was a double for the excellent Kaitlin Shave, as did Rebekah Cordero Tufuga, Georgia Hannaway, Grace Okulu and Lorinda Brown-du Plessis.

Hannaway got on the scoresheet to begin the second period, her efforts shortly followed by the Bulls’ only try of the game. Another try for Marlize de Bruin, who again raced past numerous defenders to cross over. To wrap things up, Cordero Tufuga scored a second and Hannaway scored her third.

Women | Cape Town Wild Dogs 19 – 0 San Clemente Rhinos

In the opening half, these two sides cancelled one another out. Their best efforts to thwart one another came to nothing, the second period of 10 minutes very much the deciding factor thanks to some astonishing individual performances.

One such player was Poland international Natalia Pamieta, who used her searing pace to open the scoring. Her score was later followed by one for Kirsten Conrad. Pamieta was integral in the final score of the game also, her tackle on a rampaging Rhino dislodging the ball and helping Janet Okelo to run home.

Men | Balkans Honey Badgers 7 – 17 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Ending the first day as victors was the Cape Town Wild Dogs. They came up against a Balkans Honey Badgers team that finished their first outing winless. Despite being underdogs coming into the game, it was Sean Erasmus’ team that struck first through Kelegh Moutome.

But despite a fast start that would have given them confidence, Ryno Combrinck’s side maintained the confidence they had shown in their previous two games. Efforts were registered by New Zealander Jack Gray, the scored for Ryno Benjamin and Craig Hunt’s second-half try enough to put the Badgers out of sight

Men | Serengeti Elephants 17 – 28 Blue Bulls

Racing into a 0-21 lead at the break was the Blue Bulls Daisies. It was a busy first-half, with Jack Hart crossing, as Maverick van der Merwe and Brandon Swart went over following yellow cards to the Bulls’ Andries Kruger and the Elephants’ Tshilumba Tshamala Biselele.

Serengeti got a firmer grasp on the game in the second half, mounting a comeback with tries from Tommy Clark and Josh Larsen. Hopes of a more significant return from the game was thwarted when Hart went the length of the field as Divan Enslin reached over to dot down and ultimately knocked the ball on. There was a consolation score to end the day’s play for the Elephants, as Pat O’Toole dove over on the left wing to bag his second of the afternoon.


Girls | Balkans Honey Badgers 15 – 0 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Boys | Blue Bulls 5 – 14 Balkans Honey Badgers

Boys | Cape Town Wild Dogs 7 – 5 San Clemente Rhinos

Girls | Serengeti Elephants 12 – 5 Blue Bulls Daisies

Girls | Balkans Honey Badgers 0 – 19 San Clemente Rhinos

Boys | Balkans Honey Badgers 10 – 22 Serengeti Elephants

Girls | Serengeti Elephants 32 – 5 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Girls | Blue Bulls Daisies 0 – 7 San Clemente Rhinos

Boys | San Clemente Rhinos 12 – 0 Blue Bulls

Girls | Blue Bulls Daisies 14 – 0 Balkans Honey Badgers

Boys | Balkans Honey Badgers 0 – 20 Cape Town Wild Dogs

Boys | Serengeti Elephants 21 – 5 Blue Bulls

Girls | Cape Town Wild Dogs 0 – 43 San Clemente Rhinos


Learn more about the competition by visiting, or on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

About Rugby Tens Championship
The Rugby Tens Championship is a professional rugby 10s competition which offers opportunities to athletes across the world. The Championships, which host events across the world, has five franchises, each having a men’s, women’s, boys’ and girls’ teams.

Australia National Teams and Professional Clubs: Natalie Wright (Queensland Reds), Kaitlin Shave (Brisbane Broncos), Georgia Hannaway (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Nathan den Hoedt (LA Giltinis, MLR), Sama Malolo
Austria National Team: Elena-Riccarda Hennig
Canada National Team: Oliver Nott (Toronto Arrows, MLR), Kainoa Lloyd (San Diego Legion, MLR), Brock Gallagher (Loggerheads, PR Sevens), Josh Larsen (New England Free Jacks, MLR)
England National Teams and Professional Clubs: Ellen Ramsbottom (Loughborough Lightning, Allianz premier 15s)
Fiji National Teams: Adi Vani Buleki (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Reapi Ulunisau (2020 Olympics), Viniana Riwai (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Rusila Nagasau (2016 & 2020 Olympics)
France National Teams and Professional Clubs: Luca Mignot (University of Bath, BUCS Super Rugby), Marie Saluzzo (Stade Francais), Kelegh Moutome( HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Romeo Ponge Prince (Berre)
Ireland National Teams and Professional Clubs: Anne Caplice (2017 RWC), David Busby (Seattle Seawolves, MLR), Patrick O’Toole (NOLA Gold, MLR), John Poland (New England Free Jacks, MLR)
Jamaica National Teams: Jack Rampton (2022 RWC7s), Matthew Coore
Japan National Teams and Professional Clubs: Chiharu Nakamura (2016 & 2020 Olympic Games, 2018 & 2022 RWC7s)
Kenya National Teams: Andrew Amonde (2013 & 2018 RWC7s) Oscar Ouma (2013 RWC7s), Grace Adhiambo (2020 Olympics), Stellah Wafula (2020 Olympics), Judith Okumu (2020 Olympics), Janet Okelo (2016 & 2020 Olympics), Jeff Mukutu
Mexico National Team: Isabel Gonzalez Burgos (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series)
Namibia National Team: Wynand Breytenbach
Netherlands National Teams and Professional Clubs: Pleuni Kievit (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Jordan Heil (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Timon Vijn (Loggerheads, Premier Rugby Sevens)
New Zealand National Teams and Professional Clubs: Rebekah Cordero Tufuga (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Angus Fletcher, Shakira Baker (2014 RWC, 2018 RWC7s, 2016 Olympics), Marcelle Parkes, Rhiarna Ferris, Harmony Ioane, Grace Steinmetz
Poland National Team: Anna Klichowska (2022 RWC7s), Natalia Pamieta (2022 RWC7s)

Reunion Island: Valentine Husser (National Team Captain)

South Africa National Teams: Branco du Preez (2013 RWC7s), Marithy Pienaar (2018 RWC7s), Lorinda Brown (HSBC World Cup Sevens Series), Mathrin Simmers (2022 RWC7s), Veroeshka Grain (2013 RWC7s); Nomsa Mokwai (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Felicia Jacobs (2022 RWC7s), Kirsten Conrad (HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series), Ryno Benjamin (2009 & 2013 RWC7s)
Sweden National Teams and Professional Clubs: Minonna Nunstedt, Amanda Swartz
Trinidad and Tobago National Team: Jonathan Taylor
Tunisia: Mariam Mekni
Uganda National Team: Ian Munyani, Aaron Ofoyrwoth
USA National Teams and Major League Rugby: Matai Leuta (2018 RWC7s), Cyrille Cama (LA Giltinis, MLR) , Elizabeth Tafuna (USA Falcons 7s), Ryan James (LA Giltinis, MLR)
Zimbabwe National Team: Hilton Mudariki (Zimbabwe Goshawks), Biselele Tshamala (Zimbabwe Goshawks)

If you’re still reading

SEATTLE, WA – As the Major League Rugby rumor mill churns out juicy tidbit after juicy tidbit, Seawolves’ Owner Adrian Balfour does his best to flame the fires. Ironically, he also does much to put extinguish some of those fires. Included in the interview with Matt McCarthy is the league having 11-14 potential teams in 2023, the Commissioner’s status, the complexion of USA Rugby’s Board of Directors, soccer-like team academies, salary caps and #RWC2031 needs. First, however, John Fitzpatrick speedily navigates #MLR headlines in our recurring Rugby Morning’s Coffee Break.


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About Matt McCarthy 754 Articles
Matt McCarthy comes to from their partner in the USA, RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00