SA Fast5 in Strong Day 2 Comeback

South Africa enjoyed a much better Day 2 of the Fast5 Netball World Series to qualify for the semi-finals against the unbeaten New Zealand in Auckland tomorrow.

After a Day 1 to forget, losing narrowly to Jamaica and England, the South Africans battled superbly on day to win two games before losing to the unbeaten New Zealand 58 – 31.

In their first game Earlier South Africa caused a boil-over with a stunning power play to pip Australia 40-39 for their first win of the tournament. They then kept up the momentum to beat the impressive Malawi Queens 41 – 35.

In their last game of the day South Africa simply ran out of steam as the FAST5 Ferns through court transition proved a feature, Tutaia, Cathrine Latu and Anna Thompson providing the razzle dazzle on attack with their skill levels and finishing, the confidence levels rising as the defending champions went on to post the highest score recorded in the shorter format of the game.

Earlier though against Australia, South Africa had to come from behind, causing a boil-over with a stunning power play to pip Australia 40 – 39 for their first win of the tournament.

The innovative Australian Flyers made all the early running, leading 21 – 9 at halftime before composed long range expert Chrisna Bootha stepped up with four three-pointers during South Africa’s power play. Worth double value, Bootha’s 24-point haul propelled the Proteas into a 33 – 27 lead as they set about defending it in the final quarter during Australia’s power play.

Another three-pointer for Bootha kept South Africa in touch as Australia failed to capitalise on their opportunity for double points, errors creeping in as they lost key turnover ball, the underdogs delighted to clip the wings of a previously impressive-looking Australia.

With the momentum and confidence growing South Africa then confirmed their place in the top four with an exciting win over the Malawi Queens 41 – 35 in a winner-takes-all match for both African nations.

“We really needed that win,” Bootha said after the match. After yesterday, we started off a bit shaky and ended up really good, and we are just building on that. When you get your shots in, the confidence of your team also rises,” she said.

“It was a very good performance by the rest of the team as well. We have free range to shoot as we want to, and I just thought ‘well you can’t do anything about the end result so just do everything right and the result will sort itself out’.”

South Africa finished in third place in 2012, and will be looking to topple the tournament favourites if they want to record their best finish ever. South Africa though have made a habit of coming from behind in recent games competition, and will feel confident of pulling off an upset.


Fast 5 World Series Day 2 Results:
England 30 vs Jamaica 36
New Zealand 48 vs Malawi 18
Australia 39 vs SA 40
England 32 vs Malawi 35
New Zealand 58 vs SA 31
Australia 41 vs Jamaica 41
SA 41 vs Malawi 35
New Zealand 31 vs England 27
Day 1 Results:
Jamaica 35 vs South Africa 28
England 19 vs Australia 40
New Zealand 43 vs Jamaica 22
Malawi 37 vs Australia 42
England 36 vs South Africa 29
Jamaica 37 vs Malawi 35
New Zealand 39 vs Australia 26
Fast5 South Africa Players:
Adele Niemand
Tsakane Mbewe
Karla Mostert
Chrisna Bootha
Nadet Budnik
Nontle Gwavu
Zukelwa Cwaba
Simnikiwe Mdaka
Bongiwe Msomi
Maryke Holtzhausen

(With editing by gsport)


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