Hard Lessons Toughen SPAR Proteas

by | Nov 2, 2012

SPAR Proteas vice-captain Zanele Mdodana says her team needs more top-level matches to improve. File photo: SuppliedThe SPAR Proteas dreams of winning their final match of the Quad Series were crushed in their game against England on Thursday.

After losing to the English team by only nine goals in their previous match, the Proteas were aiming for the win, but a number of errors and turnovers conceded left them with a final loss of 30 – 56.

The Proteas set off on a bad footing in the first quarter, losing their first centre and allowing England to run away with the ball. Five minutes into the game, England had scored five goals to South Africa’s one, and this pattern continued throughout the quarter.

Consistent basic errors from the Proteas in bad passes and judgment allowed the English side to exploit the situation and the gap widened to a final first quarter score of 17-5.

Managing to redeem themselves in the second quarter, the SPAR Proteas showed some of the skills that they had displayed in their previous matches. Captain Amanda Mynhardt was on top form, and was responsible for a number of intercepts against the English attack.

Maryka Holtzhausen stepped up to the plate and started to take on more work, making herself available for more opportunities to assist the heavily marked Chrisna Bootha. Although a better quarter for the Proteas, England maintained their lead with a half time score of 26-15.

Replacing new cap Nadia Uys with Bongiwe Msomi on Wing Attack in the start of the third quarter did little to assist the Proteas with their struggle in the mid-court. The defence combination of Amanda Mynhardt, Vanes-Mari du Toit and Zanele Mdodana was working at full steam, as the attack combinations let the team down.

Although England was also conceding a number of turnovers, the Proteas attack did not capitalise on this and continued to lose the ball due to basic errors. However, in true South African spirit the Proteas kept on fighting and narrowed the gap towards the end of the third quarter, ending 14 goals behind at 23-37.

The last quarter paid resemblance to the first quarter, as England started well and looked to finish well. Given a goal difference target by Coach Anna Mayes of 25 goals, the English side raced ahead and topped that target with a final score of 56-30.

“We can only learn from this” said Vice-Captain Zanele Mdodana after the game. “Of course we are disappointed, but we did have some good moments today, there just weren’t enough of them. Playing more matches at this level will help us to improve on that.”

The SPAR Proteas stay on in New Zealand for the Fast 5 tournament starting on the 9th November.

Quad-Series Fixtures for the SPAR Proteas:
Sun 14 Oct: New Zealand 63-27 South Africa (Adelaide)
Wed 17 Oct: Australia 63-31 South Africa (Newcastle)
Sun 21 Oct: England 62-53 South Africa (Sydney)
Thu 25 Oct: Australia 68-36 South Africa (Wellington)
Sun 28 Oct: New Zealand v South Africa (Invercargill)
Thu 1 Nov: England 30-56 South Africa (Hamilton)

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