SAU21 Earn 5th-Place Stripes in Glasgow

by | Sep 1, 2013

SPAR Baby Proteas Captain Simphiwe Sithebe gets down low to secure possession for South Africa in their final World Youth Netball Championship fixture, against Wales in Glasgow, on Saturday, 31 August, 2013. The junior SA national team overcame a shaky 3rd quarter to beat Wales for the tournament’s fifth-place finish. Photo: Tom Roberts/Planet Netball

In a tough match against Wales, the SPAR Baby Proteas just managed to sneak in a win despite a disastrous third quarter, beating Wales 54-48 to earn their 5th-place finish at the World Youth Netball Championships on Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Click to read the junior SPAR Proteas team announcement, the tournament preview,  Match 1Match 2Match 3Match 4Day 5 and Day 6 tournament reports on gsport)

Off to a good start, the SPAR Baby Proteas were playing well as a team. Knowing that it was their goal circle play that had let them down in previous matches, they were focused on consistency and accuracy under the post, as well as turning over balls.

Danelle Willemse stretches for the ball against Welsh Lateisha Kidner during Saturday’s fifth place playoff. Photo: Tom Roberts/Planet Netball“We knew that Wales didn’t miss, so we needed to turn balls before they went into the circle,” said Coach Dorette Badenhorst after the game. “There is still room for improvement in our goal circle, but I think the girls played very well today.”

Despite leading by a number of goals in the first and second half, ending half time with a score of 30-23, it was some changes in the third quarter that almost cost the South Africans the match. “It was a tough game,” said Badenhorst, “I made some changes in the third quarter and they didn’t work.”

Wanting to rest wing attack Izette Lubbe, Badenhorst changed around player combinations, but this negatively impacted the rhythm of play and allowed Wales to gain momentum and score a number of goals, ending the third quarter just one goal behind at 37-38.

Further changes again changed up the game, as the SPAR Baby Proteas got their game back in a gutsy final quarter, eventually stretching out the lead to end off on a 54-48 win.

“I am happy with fifth place,” said Coach Dorette Badenhorst. “We drew a tough pool, but we played well. I do still think we can play in the top four in the world, and give Jamaica and England a go!”

Netball South Africa President Mimi Mthethwa said that she was happy with the team’s overall performance. “We are very pleased, and coming here we have at least achieved one of our goals; improving our ranking from 9th to 5th.

“Playing in a tournament like this is a good platform not only to work on different combinations, but to prepare the players for matches against the toughest teams in the world,” said Mthethwa.


SA U21 Results at the World Youth Netball Championship, in Glasgow, Scotland:
24 Aug: SA 64-32 Fiji
25 Aug: SA 134-4 Israel
26 Aug: SA 71-27 Namibia
27 Aug: SA 27-59 Australia
28 Aug: SA 33-45 England

29 Aug: SA 59-20 Barbados

31 Aug: SA 54-48 Wales
The SPAR Under-21 National Netball Team:
Deancke Rohde
Danielle Willemse
Mari-Lena Joubert
Lisa-Marie Wiese
Bongolethu Ngobeni
Izette Lubbe
Simphiwe Sithebe (captain)
Nobubele Phuza
Rochelle Lawson (vice-captain)
Shadine van der Merwe
Kefiloe Tsotetsi
Zandre Kruger

(Editorial: Planet Netball / BLD Communications, with editing by gsport)


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