Big positives emerge from Proteas' narrow loss to England
Head coach Norma Plummer was upbeat despite the Spar Proteas' narrow 51-54 loss to the England Roses in the first of three tests played in Manchester on Tuesday evening.
Plummer said that her team started too slow, losing the first two quarters against the World Cup silver medals which ultimately cost them the game.
"When you play against the world’s best you need to make sure you start strongly and not let your opponents take control.
"Silly mistakes cost my team in the first two quarters but after the halftime break, they were more composed and played smart netball to win the third and fourth quarters which was unfortunate too late.
"I’m happy at the performance of my team especially the young players who, though inexperienced at this level, showed a great fighting spirit which bodes well for the next two tests.”
Despite an eight-goal halftime deficit, the SPAR Proteas fought relentlessly until the last minute, narrowing the gap, but the Vitality Roses secured a 54-51 victory. 🏴🆚🇿🇦— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) December 5, 2023
📸 Morgan Harlow pic.twitter.com/0v9R4aXTda
Assistant Proteas coach Dumisani Chauke agreed with Plummer.
“The game went well last night although it was not the start we wanted.
The strong finish gave us the opportunity to gauge ourselves against the world’s No 3 nation. We were fortunate enough to give our young stars an opportunity to take to the court, some who have never played against England, and we were proud with what they delivered, indicating that the future looks bright.”
Chauke said there were certain things that the team needed to work on ahead of the second test on Saturday.
“We have a few days to go back to the drawing board and work on certain things, especially the turnover rate and making use of the ball when we do have it in our hands.”