In what is likely to be their toughest encounter of the Diamond Challenge, the SPAR Proteas netball team still managed to run out 62-35 winners.
In what is likely to be their toughest encounter of the Diamond Challenge, the SPAR Proteas netball team still managed to run out 62-35 winners over the SA President’s XII in Polokwane yesterday.
The Proteas took to the court with the unusual combination of Lenize Potgieter at goal attack and Sigi Burger at goal shooter once again as coach Norma Plummer continues to prep her players for all sorts of scenarios. And the structure seemed to work well as the national side sped to an 18-5 lead at the first break.
As the President’s XII – a team made up largely of rising junior players – found their feet, they managed to put up some stiff defence, meaning the difference in goals scored in the second quarter was just four.
The fourth quarter was the best for the youngsters who managed to match the national side’s 13 goals scored. But their lack of overall consistency and a few untested combinations meant the President’s side could not keep up with the Proteas, who eventually claimed the win by 27 goals.
“I would definitely say I’m happy. The win on the board is what we wanted today,” said SPAR Proteas captain Bongi Msomi afterwards. “We obviously still have a few things that we want to work on. I think today we did have some great passages of play but we let it slip away a little bit. That is part of the game though – learning how to get out of that and carry on going back to the game plan.
Meanwhile, the Proteas had managed to keep their title defence firmly on track on Wednesday when they thumped neighbours Botswana 83-16 – their largest winning margin over their neighbours to date.
The visitors could only manage to slot in two goals in the first 15 minutes, and while the Proteas weren’t looking quite as smooth as usual, it allowed them to surge to a 19-2 lead by the first break. While things did improve slightly for Botswana after the break, they simply battled to keep up with the pace.