Johannesburg, South Africa – South Africa are in Wales for a double header test series as part of their preparation for next week’s Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool.
It was a dominant start by the SPAR Proteas who scored four quick goals in the first two minutes of the match to lead 4-0. South Africa moved the ball forward with intensity and precision, looking impressive in attack. Only after 10 minutes into the match did the Welsh team start finding their feet and managed to force a turnaround and score two successive goals to trail 3-8. But the SPAR Proteas continued to move the ball around court quickly and sharply and consistently fed the ball into the circle where Lenize Potgieter was on target.
Wales who are visibly smaller in stature as a team compared to their Southern Hemisphere opponents put pressure on the South Africans preventing them playing short passes, forcing the long pass which gave them better chances of intercepting forcing the turnaround allowing Wales to net some goals reducing the South African lead.
With 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the SPAR Proteas put pace in their attack and managed to end the quarter with a healthy lead of 21-8.
South African head coach Norma Plummer made no changes to her starting SPAR Proteas line-up in the second quarter and after seven minutes in the quarter South Africa geared up a notch with captain Bongi Msomi especially dominant on the centre court line. Erin Burger, the most capped SPAR Protea at 116 caps, contributed to the South African dominance with in form Potgieter making it almost impossible to defend on a one-on-one situation. Maryka Holtzhausen split the circles and defenders allowing the ball to be passed through into the circle with ease. Going into half time South Africa comfortably led Wales 42-16.
Again Coach Plummer opted for no changes as the third quarter was called. Wales however made several changes hoping the fresh legs would give them some chance of reducing the score deficit. But Holtzausen remained a workhorse in the South African attack with Potgieter holding her space and picking up the excellent feeds. The SPAR Proteas added 19 goals in the third quarter to their total and went into the final quarter leading wales 61-25.
In the final quarter South Africa finally made a string of changes and brought on Zanele Vimbela, Izette Griesel, Khanyisa Chawane and Renske Stoltz. The changes made by Coach Plummer worked seamlessly and the fresh players contributed greatly to a new energy amongst the SPAR Proteas and did themselves proud as they helped the SPAR Proteas dominate the final quarter and win the opening test for South Africa.
The SPAR Proteas dominant win was an impressive statement of intent ahead of next week’s World Cup.
The second and final test South Africa vs Wales will be played in Cardiff on Friday evening 5 July 2019 at 20h30 local time, South African time 21h30. The match can be live streamed onhttps://bbc.in/2Jb5kyi