South Africa began their international series post the Netball World Cup on Wednesday with a rueful loss to current World Champs, Australia’s Diamonds, at the Cairns Convention Centre, in Cairns, Australia.
The last time these two met earlier during the Quad Series earlier this year, in Cape Town, and will meet again over the next week, with matches in Hobart on 29 and 31 October.
“I think we did very well, considering that we did not have any games since World Cup.”Proteas Head Coach Norma Plummer
It was South Africa that converted their two chances as quickly as possible to gain the early lead and confidence that was much needed for this game, but the Diamonds were not sitting back, fighting their way back into the match clinching the quarter 17 – 9.
A few defensive errors by South Africa cost them the quarter. Ine Mari Venter was on song in that shooting circle, converting six of the seven chances created.
Coach Plummer made two changes coming into the second quarter with Nicola Smith making way for Karla Pretorius at Goal keeper and Jeante Strydom stepping in at Wing Defence. Msomi and Chawane swapped positions between Centre and Wing Attack.
Diamonds started the second quarter the same way they ended first quarter, however the changes by Proteas seemed to have started yielding results with Maweni and Pretorius connecting very well at the back. Australia continued to pile up goals and taking the quarter 14 – 12. At the end of the quarter, Diamonds enjoyed a 10-point lead, half time score 31 -21 to Australia.
Lefebre Rademan took to court at the start of the third quarter replacing Nichole Taljaard. The World Champs were not holding back and continued to apply pressure on the Proteas to extend their lead.
Towards the end of the third quarter, Coach Plummer introduced Rolene Streutker for her maiden cap in place of Ine Mari Venter. She immediately gelled in with the rest of the team and settled in very well, securing a 92% conversion rate.
“The players stepped up and did exceptionally well. I am not disappointed at all; I am impressed with how everyone stepped up and raised their hands,” said Proteas Head Coach Norma Plummer.
“For the remaining two tests, we will keep building and coming strong. We have a bunch of great players who just need to be properly coached and exposed to what is out there,” said Plummer.
2023 Spar Proteas Tour of Australia
Wed 25 October: Australia 62 – 43 South Africa
Sun 29 October (08:00 CAT): Game 2: Australia vs South Africa (MyState Bank Arena, Hobart)
Tue 31 October (11:30 CAT): Game 3: Australia vs South Africa (MyState Bank Arena, Hobart)
Q1 – Australia 17 – 9 South Africa
Q2 – Australia 14 – 12 South Africa
Q3 – Australia 15 – 11 South Africa
Q4 – Australia 16 – 11 South Africa
Proteas Starting VII
Ine Mari Venter – GS
Nicole Taljaard – GA
Bongiwe Msomi – WA
Khanyisa Chawane – C
Karla Pretorius – WD
Nicola Smith – GD
Phumza Maweni – GK
Spar Proteas Squad for the 3-Test Tour of Australia from 26-31 October, 2023
Bongiwe Msomi (C)
Jamie van Wyk
Elmeré van der Berg
Photo Caption: South Africa have lost the opening of Test of a 3-match away series against world champions, Australia, at the Cairns Convention Centre in Cairns, Australia, on Wednesday, 25 October, 2023. Ine Mari Venter was on song for the visitors in the shooting circle, converting six of the seven chances created. Photo: Supplied