Home Sport Netball Proteas open Commonwealth Games account with big Barbados win

Netball Proteas open Commonwealth Games account with big Barbados win

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South Africa’s netball team scored a runaway 91-36 win over Barbados’ Bajan Gems at the NEC Arena in Birmingham on Sunday.

The South African netball team at the Commonwealth Games. Picture: Netball SA

SOUTH Africa’s netball team, the Proteas, warmed up for their showdown with world No 1 Australia with a runaway 91-36 win over Barbados’ Bajan Gems on Sunday at the NEC Arena in Birmingham.

With the victory, South Africa managed their first win at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after they suffered a 68-49 defeat to the world No 4 side Jamaica on Saturday. On Sunday it was one-way traffic for the world No 5 ranked South Africans against Barbados who, at No 12 in the world, are the lowest ranked team in Pool A.

By picking up two log points South Africa have kept their hopes alive of reaching the play-offs although their campaign could suffer a hiccup on Monday when they play Australia. On the evidence of this display, South Africa should have the better of Wales (8) and Scotland (9) in the other remaining Pool A matches.

South Africa were forced to play without their captain Bongiwe Msomi who had a heavy fall against Jamaica. She was substituted in the game and started out on the bench on Sunday but was not called on to play.

Running out in their alternative white strip, South Africa made a strong start, and that was very much the way the game continued until the end. South Africa ran up a 23-9 first-quarter lead after several sharp and nippy passages of play.

Barbados had no answer to South Africa’s fast-paced attacks, and their transition play from defence to attack often left the opposition’s lines in tatters. Despite South Africa’s impressive start, Barbados never lost belief and kept fighting.

Lefébre Rademan, the SA goal attack, was bang on form and her display on Sunday marked a big improvement from her performance on Saturday.

When second-quarter play started, Barbados started to show improvement, but in their eagerness to keep their challenge alive, they reeled out a succession of speculative off-loads and conceded several turn-overs. As the quarter wound its course, South Africa turned on the pressure and reached the half-time break with a 46-18 (20-9) lead.

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The South Africans made a slew of changes for the third-quarter action, and the fresh legs kept the momentum going as they passed the 50-point mark. The pace of the SA attacks was a huge problem for the opposition, and the quarter ended with a 23-9 scoreline and an overall score of 66-27. For the third time, Barbados were restricted to a single-figure score in a quarter.

In the final quarter, South Africa pulled off a host of intercepts and kept the scoreboard ticketing away until they reached 80 points with four minutes of play remaining.

Despite a strong finish, Barbados could not deny SA in the dying stages as they signed off with a 91-36 victory – a stupendous 58-goal victory margin.

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