Gutsy performance by Proteas not enough

netball29 October 2023 10:25

The Spar Proteas came into matchday two against Australia with two changes from the team that started the game the last time the two sides met. Coach Norma Plummer started with Kamogelo Masego in Goal Attack and Jeante Strydom in Wing Defence.

South Africa wanted to make sure that they redeemed themselves and dusted off the defeat from the previous match. A shaky and nervous start by the Spar Proteas allowed them to concede unforced errors and this worked well in the Aussies’ favour.

The attacking duo of Maseko and Venter seemed to have been working for South Africa as they ended the first quarter with a 100 per cent shooting average. The Spar Proteas gained confidence as the first quarter progressed and took the game to Australia. At the end of the first quarter, it was world champs leading 18-13.

The Spar Proteas stepped into the second quarter high in confidence, the talk by the coach seems to have done the trick. They took the match to Australia and dominated the quarter and just lost it right at the end. Australia took the quarter 14-12 and led the game 32-25.

Coach Plummer was forced to make a change at halftime, as Phumza Maweni made way for Nicola Smith in the Goal Keeper position. The Diamonds peeled off during the championship quarter and showed their class. They took the game back to South Africa and took the quarter 18-15. Maseko, who was playing only her fourth test match, seemed to be having fun on the court.

Two more changes by South Africa at the start of the last quarter saw Refiloe Nketsa assuming the Centre position and Rolene Streutker paired up with Masego upfront. Streutker settled in very quickly into the game and converted all of her chances. At the end of the match, it was Australia that continued with their unbeaten run against the Spar Proteas, winning the match 67-52.

After a great display of netball, Kamogelo Maseko was named Player of the Match, and this was no surprise. She left everything on that court.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to play and represent my country, it is a blessing that we get to do this, and winning player of the match is a cherry on top. I think I am one of the most creative players out there so I will always look at opportunities to do better every time I take to court,” said Maseko post-match.  

Score Breakdown:

Q1 – Diamonds 18 – 13 Spar Proteas

Q2 – Diamonds 32 – 25 Spar Proteas

Q3 – Diamonds 50 – 38 Spar Proteas

Q4 – Diamonds 67 – 52 Spar Proteas