Proteas rue missed opportunities against world champs

netball25 October 2023 11:00
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SA v Aus © Gallo Images

The Spar Proteas began their international series post the Netball World Cup on Wednesday morning with a 62-43 loss against current World Champs Australia in Cairns, Queensland.

The last time these two met was earlier in the year (2023) during the Quad Series in Cape Town.

It was South Africa that converted their two chances as quickly as possible to gain the lead and confidence that was much needed for this game – however the Diamonds were not sitting back, as they fought their way back into the match clinching the quarter 17-9. 

A few defensive errors by South Africa cost them the quarter. Ine Mari Venter was on song in that shooting circle, converting six of the seven chances created.

Coach Norma Plummer made two changes coming into the second quarter with Nicola Smith making way for Karla Pretorius at Goal keeper and Jeante Strydom stepping in at Wing Defence. Msomi and Chawane swapped positions between Centre and Wing Attack.

The Diamonds started the second quarter the same way they ended first quarter, however the changes by the Proteas seemed to have started yielding results with Maweni and Pretorius connecting very well at the back.

Australia continued to pile up goals, taking the quarter 14-12. At the end of the quarter, the Diamonds enjoyed a 10-point lead with the halftime score 31-21 to Australia.

Lefebre Rademan took to court at the start of the third quarter replacing Nichole Taljaard.

The World Champs were not holding back and continued to apply pressure on the Proteas to extend their lead.

Towards the end of the third quarter, Coach Plummer introduced Rolene Streutker for her maiden cap in place of Ine Mari Venter.

She immediately gelled with the rest of the team and settled in very well, securing a 92 per cent conversion rate.

“I think we did very well, considering that we did not have any games since the World Cup. The players stepped up and did exceptionally well. I am not disappointed at all; I am impressed with how everyone stepped up and raised their hands. For the remaining two tests, we will keep building. We have a bunch of great players who just need to be properly coached and exposed to what is out there,” said Plummer.

Score Breakdown:

Q1 – Diamonds 17 – 9 SPAR Proteas

Q2 – Diamonds 14 – 12 SPAR Proteas

Q3 – Diamonds 15 – 11 SPAR Proteas

Q4 – Diamonds 16 – 11 SPAR Proteas

SPAR Proteas starting VII.

Ine Mari Venter - GS

Nicole Taljaard - GA

Bongiwe Msomi - WA

Khanyisa Chawane - C

Karla Pretorius - WD

Nicola Smith - GD

Phumza Maweni - GK