Proteas have a great day of netball

2012-11-10 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Considered as the dark horses of the Fast 5 World Netball Series, the Proteas showed what they are capable of in their first two matches of the tournament yesterday.

Opening the tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, the Proteas were up against Jamaica. After beating the Sunshine Girls in a Test match earlier this year, and with the experience gained in the Quad Series, the Proteas walked on to the court feeling confident.

Both teams looked a uncomfortable with the new format of the game in the first quarter, but Jamaica’s defence worked in their favour as they led by eight goals to three.

However, preferring the safer route of shooting just under the post, Jamaica failed to capitalise on their power play in the second quarter, where all points scored are doubled, and the Proteas managed to narrow the gap to 11-14.

Riskier play by the Proteas suited them well in their power play third quarter, with Chrisna Botha and Maryka Holtzhausen doing a brilliant job on goal. Ending the quarter on two six-pointers took SA into the lead at 29-18. Working as a unit and maintaining great speed through the court were a recipe for success as South Africa ran away with the lead and ended the game 34-25.

In their next match, the Proteas played a calculated game against England. Leading 11-5 after the first quarter, South Africa looked to be on top form.

Working the rolling substitutions and aiming for the longer shots acted to the Proteas advantage and they continued to lead until the end of the third quarter. A surprise turnaround in the last quarter by England shooter Jo Harten left everyone awestruck, and she scored a number of three-pointers consecutively to win England the game 41-27.

“We have had a great day,” said Proteas Fast 5 Coach Lana Krige after the matches.

“Everything worked well and all our players had court time. Chrisna and Maryka worked very well together, but tomorrow will be Nontle’s [Gwavu] test.”

In other matches, England beat Australia 29-27; New Zealand drew against Jamaica 38-38; Malawi beat Australia 33-15; Jamaica beat Malawi 32-31; and New Zealand beat Australia 31-23.

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