CAPE TOWN, Oct 18, 2021/ — Tunisia rugby 15s women’s team whitewashed Cote d’Ivoire 61-0 to win the Africa Cup Tournament Sunday.
The team seems to have found their feet in the game when they faced Cote d’Ivoire, who had lost to Senegal in the previous match on October 17th at El Menzeh Rugby Ground in Tunisia’s capital.
Tunisia started strong, passing the ball and sprinting out hard and committed early on to moving the ball up the field and keeping it close to the scoring zone.
In the first few runs though Tunisia underestimated the strength of Cote d’Ivoire’s defenders only to run straight into their tackles.
Although much slower Cote d’Ivoire surrounded the fleet-footed Tunisian players like a pride of lions, swiftly bringing them down.
After a few encounters with Cote d’Ivoire’s killer tackles Tunisia quickly adapted and upped their fast passing game sending the ball out wide onto the wing and bringing in their first try in the first eight minutes by No. 14 Ranim Madouri.
After that Tunisia hit their stride and became like a well-oiled machine, moving the ball forward with a much longer game.
The Tunisian showed greater unity as a team than they had done in their first match against Senegal.
Despite being occasionally snarled up in Cote d’Ivoire’s tackles and scrums Tunisia kept up the pressure with a fast paced technical game
At the end of the first half Tunisia had scored 30 points with Cote d’Ivoire having failed to even get the ball far up enough the field to dream of scoring a try.
In the second half, Cote d’Ivoire seemed more assertive trying to the push the push up the field faster but Tunisia quickly took control of the ball to score another try in under four minutes of play.
For the early part of the second half it was a try/conversion killer combo by Madouri getting balls over the line and Ben Salem kicking them across the bar.
After a series of substitutions it was No. 16 Abire Dhaheri, a late entrant who brought home the next try and No. 11 Rihab Hamouda, but it was the kicking machine Salem who launched the conversions over the bar, to bring the final score to 61-0 to Tunisia.
Tunisia’s team coach, Malick Tcha-Tchibara said the win was down to the skills they had developed, “They improved their communication, it was much clearer, it is easier to play when communication is clear, they decided to work hard and to go deep and move the ball.”
A jubilant captain, No. 9 Meriem Mekni could not stop smiling after wining, “We had a strategy to play long, because we saw that Cote d”Ivoire play a very close short game with tackles, so we went deep and wide.”
Abdelaziz Chaouachi said after the game against Senegal Tunisia were ranked 32 in the world and they hoping the tournament win will take them into the top 20.