The Proteas continued their unbeaten run in the netball Tri-nations tournament at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Saturday with a convincing 66-31 win over Namibia, after leading 39-15 at halftime.
Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst started with a blend of younger and more experienced players and the mixture proved very successful. Namibia struggled with the speed and intensity of the game and scored only six goals in the first quarter, against the 19 scored by the South Africans. By halftime, the Proteas had established an unassailable lead of 39-15, leaving the Namibians trying to play catch up.
The visitors put up a good showing in the third quarter, losing it by just three goals before the Proteas showed their class in the final quarter, which they won 15-7.
Wing defence Nozipho Ntshangase had a night to remember when she was named most valued player in her debut match.
Proteas assistant coach Dumisani Chauke said her team was evidence of the depth of talent in South Africa.
“The absence of some of our top players, who were unavailable because they are in Australia and the United Kingdom, has given us an opportunity to assess the second and third tier players and we are very happy with the way they have performed,” she said.
“There is a good pool of players coming through and there is fierce competition for places in the national teams. We have also been excited by what we have seen in the matches between the Baby Proteas and the President’s XII.”
Earlier, the Baby Proteas put up a gallant fight against the world’s seventh ranked team, Uganda. They got off to a brilliant start, winning the first quarter 14-12, but then slumped in the second, with the Ugandan She-Cranes outscoring them by 20-goals to nine in the second. However, they bounced back in the third quarter, which they shared, 12 goals each. Uganda stepped up the pressure in the final quarter to win the match 59-45. The Ugandan goal attack, Irene Eyaru, was named the player of the match.
“I am very proud of my young team for putting up such a good fight,” said head coach Elsje Jordaan.
“I think they coped well with the intensity and physicality of Uganda.”
On Sunday, Uganda plays Namibia at 10:00. The two later matches are between the Baby Proteas and the President’s XII at 16:00, followed by the match between the Proteas and Uganda at 18:00.
There will be no spectators at the matches, which will be televised live on Supersport Variety 4.
Q1: South Africa 19 - 6 Namibia
HT: South Africa 39 - 15 Namibia
Q3: South Africa 51 - 24 Namibia
FT: South Africa 66 - 31 Namibia