Brave Proteas Go Down Fighting

PICTURE : Reg Caldecott

South African Netball team the Spar Proteas gave it their all but New Zealand Silver Ferns were a better team as they won the match by 51 goals to 46, at the Ellis Park  Arena, Thursday night.

This is the smallest margin of victory over the Proteas since 1995, when they lost to South Africa at the Netball World Cup in Birmingham. South Africa went on to play Australia in the final, and were beaten 68-48.

The Proteas got off to a flying start and were ahead of the Silver Ferns until five minutes before the end of the first quarter, when the Silver Ferns drew level and then scored a flurry of goals, to win the quarter 14-9.

All three quarters these two team fought it hard as most times they were in a same level of goals, but Proteas panicked in just five minutes before the end of the match and Silver Ferns took that to their advantage and punished the Proteas.

“We lost the match in the first quarter,” said South African head coach Norma Plummer.

“We started off well, and then let them get ahead. But they were sensational. We are getting closer all the time. I am very proud of the team – they don’t often play at that intensity, whereas Australia and New Zealand play each other all the time.

The match was very physical and played at pace. The South African defenders, Phumza Maweni and Karla Pretorius achieved some outstanding turnovers in the circle, and goal shooter Lenize Potgieter finished with the best shooting statistics, scoring 31 goals from 36 attempts”.

“Poor decision making cost us the match,” she added.