Pumas win first match of Israel rugby tour

Pumas win first match of Israel rugby tour

Project-Israel sponsored London Pumas win opening tour match in Netanya.

Andrew Sherwood is the Jewish News Sport and Community Editor

Both teams lining up before the start of the match
Both teams lining up before the start of the match

A lively and tenacious Israel XV were beaten 73-0 by the Project Israel sponsored London Pumas Women’s Invitation rugby team at the Wingate Institute last night in Netanya.


London Pumas Tour of Israel – Match 1
Israel 0 London Pumas 73

Wingate Institute, Netanya
Tuesday, 1 June,

The scoreline sounds like a total mismatch, however this wasn’t the case. The Pumas squad of 16 contains five English Premiership players, including three from the UK’s top women’s club Richmond, while the Israel women’s team, captained by Binta Diallo and coached by Ofer Hamburger, only has the Pumas games twice a year to look forward to.

Taking into account the above circumstances, Israel did very well to make a game of it and showed fast movement and excellent understanding with several promising performances from a number of players.

They were undone by the sheer power and technique of the Pumas team, but there were good moments for Israel, notably novice player Shira Noy at prop, who was up against Richmond’s Ellisha Dee, one of the most feared props in world rugby. Noy held her own.

ACTION 1Ironsides Pumas, the team coached by Jon Feld in the RFU English league, provided three of the London Pumas team; Alison Da Costa, Chris Papadopolou and Anji Shah, and all three had excellent matches, especially Da Costa whose tackling was immense throughout.

Sister team Salisbury Pumas were represented by the Tour captain Jo Emslie and hooker Anabelle Whitecross who both scored tries.

The Pumas tries were highlighted by braces from Ellisha Dee, Jodie Rettie and Sophie Tyler plus Sam Johnson, Davinia Monteiro and Nicola Cameron also went over.

The match was enjoyed immensely by both teams, who after dinner went for dinner together. The trip is also providing some of the Puma players with a first ever trip to Israel.

ACTION2Coach Jon Feld said: “The players who didn’t come last year are positively bowled over by the country they’ve witnessed and it’s people. They didn’t expect this at all. It’s all very well for UK Jewish leaders to mix with politicians, but there should be less of that and more of this really if we are to combat BDS properly.

“Regarding Israeli rugby the women’s 15’s team showed great promise, it’s just a shame that the IRU puts all it’s efforts into 7’s rugby as 7’s doesn’t suit a lot of players “.

The final match of the tour takes place on Saturday, 4 June, at Maghar village near Lake Kinneret.



1. Shira Kazula Noy
2. Hadas Bloemendal
3. Yamit Maskato
4. Debi Mesri,
5. Daniela Gofberg
6. Moria Yamin
7. Inbar Vknn
8. Binta Diallo (cap)
9. Ori Katz
10. Sara Iacopetti
11. Daniel Didi Yoseph
12. Limor Lev
13. Kim Gorodenchik
14. Rebecca Leff
15. Adi Horovitz
16. Ma’ayan Mizrahi

London Pumas:

1. Ellisha Dee (Richmond)
2. Anabelle Whitecross (Salisbury Pumas)
3. Kanyinsola Afilaka (London Wasps)
4. Alison Da Costa (Ironsides Pumas)
5. Chris Papadopolou (Ironsides Pumas)
6. Sam Johnson (Henleys)
7. Jo Emslie (Salisbury Pumas)
8. Davinia Monteiro (Richmond)
9. Nicola Cameron (OA’s)
10. Rebecca De Filippo (Gloucester)
11. Sophie Tyler (Thurrock)
12. Anji Shah (Ironsides Pumas)
13. Esther King (Rosslyn Park)
14. Jodie Rettie (Thurrock)
15. Esther King (Rosslyn Park)
16. Sylvia Chan (Bristol)

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