South Africa had their game faces on as they took to the court in their opening match of the Quad Series on Sunday, but despite a good start, the SPAR Proteas couldn’t keep up with the experienced Silver Ferns, losing by 63 goals to 27 at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Australia, on Sunday.
The New Zealand Silver Ferns took an early lead in the first quarter, showing their dominance on the court. However, the SPAR Proteas kept their cool and had some very good plays on the defensive. Vanes-Mari du Toit was on top form making a number of crucial intercepts, and after lagging for the majority of the first quarter, the South African team managed to pull it back ending it 9-14.
It was a similar showing in the second quarter. The Silver Ferns pushed on as the SPAR Proteas struggled against the snappy, quick movement and passing of the Silver Ferns on attack. Bongiwe Msomi had a great game, finding the gaps on court, but the Proteas were conceding a lot of penalties. The half time score reflected the play as the Silver Ferns had doubled their score to put them at a 28-14 lead.
The match seemed to degenerate from this point as the Silver Ferns took ownership of the game. Playing out of their comfort zone, and starting to tire, the SPAR Proteas were unable to keep up in the third and final quarter. Not enough goals were moving to the South African goal circle, and the Silver Ferns won with a convincing victory.
“We knew this was going to be a tough match,” said SPAR Proteas coach Elize Kotze after the game. “This has been a big learning curve for us. But we are going to take it one match at a time, and we now know that we have a lot of preparation to do before our next game.”
“It was definitely not our best performance. We are a bit disappointed. We didn’t capitalize on ball possession. We need to do the basics right. We had great goal averages, just not enough attempts. We need to minimize our mistakes as well as our infringements,” du Toit added.
South Africa play world number one Australia in their next match on Wednesday 17 October.
Quad-Series Fixtures: Sun 14 Oct: Australia 64-40 England (Adelaide) Sun 14 Oct: New Zealand 63-27 SA (Adelaide) Wed 17 Oct: New Zealand v England (Newcastle) Wed 17 Oct: Australia v SA (Newcastle) (Live 11:35am SS6) Sun 21 Oct: Australia v New Zealand (Sydney) Sun 21 Oct: England v SA (Sydney) (Live 7:05am SS6) Thu 25 Oct: Australia v South Africa (Wellington) Thu 25 Oct: New Zealand v England (Wellington) Sun 28 Oct: Australia v England (Invercargill) Sun 28 Oct: New Zealand v South Africa (Invercargill) Thu 1 Nov: England v South Africa (Hamilton) Thu 1 Nov: New Zealand v Australia (Hamilton)
The SA Netball Squad for the 2012 Quad Series: Chrisna Bootha Maryka Holtzhausen Melissa Myburgh Lindie Lombard Nadia Uys Bongiwe Msomi Thuli Qegu Zanele Mdodana (Vice-Captain) Vanes-Mari du Toit Karla Mostert Amanda Mynhardt (Captain) Adele Niemand