Cape Town - A first-half hat-trick by South Africa U20 Women's winger Leandi Smith on Wednesday steered the team to a comprehensive 43-0 victory against Zimbabwe in the first of two internationals between the sides in Harare.
The team, being guided by SA's first female national coach and former Springbok Women's player Laurian Johannes, started the clash with a bang at the Prince Edward School as Smith crossed the chalk for her first try in the first minute.
She then touched down for her next two in the 12th and 40th minutes respectively, while flyhalf Anacadia Minnaar converted one of them to hand the team an encouraging 17-0 halftime lead.
Johannes' team continued this fine form seconds after play resumed as one of the twins in the side, Chumisa Qawe scored the fourth try, which was followed up by another by her sister Chuma, before Kimberley Horlinand Aneliswe Mxabo stretched their try tally to an impressive seven late in the match.
The SA U20 Women backed up their effective attack up with solid defence, which left the home side scoreless.
Johannes was pleased with the result, but with high standards set for her team, she made it clear there were areas to work on before their next outing at the same venue on Saturday.
"It was a good match," said Johannes. "It is always good to come to another country and compete.
"Our girls did well, but there are definitely work-ons. I feel we can improve in certain areas of the game, which we will do going forward."
The coach was delighted to have the opportunity to take her team to Zimbabwe and said it would not only bode well for the development of her players, but for women's rugby in Africa as well.
"It is fantastic that we are able to build the relationships between the two countries and to do our bit for the development of women's rugby in Africa," said Johannes.
South Africa U20 Women 43 (17) - Tries: Leandi Smith (3), Chumisa Qawe, Chuma Qawe, Kimberley Horlin, Aneliswe Mxabo. Conversions: Anacadia Minnaar (2), Chuma Qawe, Buhle Mrkabalala.