Record-breaking win for SA netball team

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The triumphant South African team with the Spar Challenge trophy.
The triumphant South African team with the Spar Challenge trophy.
Picture: Reg Caldecott

South Africa made a clean sweep of the three-match Spar Challenge Netball Test series against Malawi on Sunday with a record-breaking 41-goal win in the third and final Test at the Sun City Superbowl.

The Spar Proteas won the match 69-28, after leading 36-16 at halftime.

“We achieved more than we expected in this series. It is not often when you play African teams that you are able to play all 15 players in your squad. We met the targets we set in each of the matches and I am very satisfied.”
Proteas coach, Dorette Badenhorst

The winning margin was one goal better than the previous record, set during the first match on Thursday night.

The start on Sunday was scrappy, with both sides making mistakes and losing their circle and the first goal was scored only in the third minute of play. Captain Bongi Msomi, meanwhile, left the court with an injury in the first minute, being replaced by Tshina Mdau.

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The first quarter was a bit of a dogfight, with Malawi achieving their best start of the series. South Africa were 14-9 ahead at the end of the quarter and won the second quarter 22-7.

The defenders on both sides were very effective, achieving numerous turnovers.

South African goalkeeper Phumza Maweni and goal attack Shadine van der Merwe were a formidable combination and Van der Merwe was named Most Valued Player and Player of the Series.

“But it has been a big wake-up call. We are grateful to have played some international netball but when we go home we know that we have to make sure the players don’t remain idle, but that they keep fit for action.”
Malawi coach, Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa

The lead once again gave Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst the freedom to bring on the rest of her team in the second half.

“We achieved more than we expected in this series,” said Badenhorst. “It is not often when you play African teams that you are able to play all 15 players in your squad. We met the targets we set in each of the matches and I am very satisfied.”

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Malawi coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa said she was disappointed with the outcome of the series and said lack of match fitness was a problem.

“But it has been a big wake-up call. We are grateful to have played some international netball but when we go home we know that we have to make sure the players don’t remain idle, but that they keep fit for action,” she said.

The Proteas will play a series against Uganda early next year.

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