3 Tunisia got off to a good start with a try in the opening minutes of the match. The match took place under the iconic dome of the El Menzeh sports complex in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, on Saturday, October 9. A small but enthusiastic crowd cheered on the home side by waving Tunisia’s red flags as the women’s team played a quick opening against Senegal which ended in a 14-3 overall victory over Tunisia.
5 After scoring their first try, Tunisia had to defend themselves against Senegal’s series of powerful attacks. Tunisia defended well against Senegal who were like a moving wall led by No.8 Coumba Nidaye who advanced with force to try to take control of the match.
6 Senegalese No.5 Fatou Cissokho was only beaten by Tunisian No.12 Lamia Mlawah as Cissokho charged towards the line. Despite their Senegal strength, Tunisia’s smaller but faster players devastated the opposition. Senegal suffered several injuries and Senegalese Coumba Ndiaye was forced to retire following a shoulder injury.
7 The first half turned into a siege with Tunisia scoring its goal against determined attacks from Senegal, ending with Tunisia maintaining their 5-0 lead.
8 Tunisian team manager Abdelaziz Chaouachi said of the opening “it’s a good result, scoring so early seemed to have a great psychological impact on the Senegalese team”. He added that both teams are equally strong physically but with different strengths Senegal are stronger in the scrums and Tunisia are playing a more technical and faster game which is the result of their strong performance in the women’s 7 which is a very quick game.
9 The second half saw both teams play a much faster game, with both teams regaining new confidence in their energy.
10 Senegal continued their tactic of playing an offensive game to get Tunisian defenders through, but they still couldn’t stop the highly technical Tunisian defense and the intrepid Lamia Mlawah, who beat Senegal’s No.4, the powerful Yvonne Mendy.
11 Tunisia’s secret weapon, No. 14 Emna ben Arous, and its immense speed laps brought the ball close to the Senegalese line before being pushed back by a reinforced Senegalese defense.
12 The final twenty minutes saw Tunisia play a quick passing game, but injuries on both sides escalated and the two sides settled their differences with a series of penalties. one try in the first half and three penalties in total which made her the woman of the match.
13 Ameni ben Salem, very happy, said: “It was a great experience, we realized that Senegal were much more experienced in the game at 15, we are much more experienced in the game at 7”.
14 Abdelaziz Chaouachi said these matches are important “because they will give the teams their world rankings, which will help Rugby Africa organize and structure Africa Cup matches”.