The SPAR Proteas seemed to be improving with every game
Matchday three of the Vitality Netball Nations Cup started off with South Africa facing World Champions, New Zealand on Saturday.
The game ended in the favour of New Zealand who won 48-41. This after the Silver Ferns had beaten England by a 16-point margin on the first day of the tournament and the Sunshine Girls by a 26-point margin. SPAR Proteas goalkeeper Phumza Maweni won player of the match.
The last time South Africa met New Zealand was last year during the 2019 Quad Series, that match ended in a stalemate and the Silver Ferns won it by two points during extra time.
Dorette Badenhorst started the game with the same team that faced the Vitality Roses three days ago and she was hoping to have the same dominance she enjoyed against them.
The South Africans were very patient in their build-up and managed to take their chances in the first quarter, the SA defence seemed to be holding up which made it rather hard for the New Zealand attack. The SPAR Proteas seemed to have found their rhythm and challenged the Silver Ferns for every ball.
However, it was New Zealand that led the first quarter 14-11 at the end.
The second quarter saw a host of changes in the South African line-up, but a few marginal errors crept in and at the end of the second quarter, New Zealand were leading 27-20.
The SPAR Proteas seemed to be improving with every game. The second quarter was the closest that New Zealand has played in this tournament.
South Africa came back from the break like a team possessed and took the game to New Zealand, they managed to reduce their deficit to just three and won the quarter 14-10. New Zealand finished the quarter a narrow 37 -34 ahead.
The SPAR Proteas continued where they left off at the end of the third quarter and challenged New Zealand for every ball making sure that they take their chances. One can attest to the fact that South Africa showed up and really asked a lot from New Zealand. However, it was unfortunate that they lost the game.
“We played very well today, just a few disappointments and mistakes here and there that were game-changers. Thanks to New Zealand for giving us such a great game.
“The team did well, and we can take confidence in the fact that we have learnt a lot and we have grown here as well. Now we look forward to tomorrow,” said Dorette Badenhorst the SPAR Proteas head coach.
At the time of going to press the SPAR Proteas were playing Commonwealth Champions England in the 3rd/4th play-off.