New plan for Spar Proteas

CityPress - - Sport - RE­ABETSWE MASHIGO re­abetswe.mashigo@city­press.co.za

The Spar Proteas need to go back to the draw­ing board for a new game plan af­ter los­ing two test friendlies against New Zealand just ahead of the net­ball World Cup.

New Zealand’s Sil­ver Ferns thumped South Africa 68-44 in their first test and 67-28 in the sec­ond test.

But there is some good news for South African sup­port­ers. New Zealand’s de­fence could not get past South Africa’s star shooter, Lenize Pot­gi­eter, who was dubbed most val­ued player.

The pres­i­dent of Net­ball SA, Mimi Mthethwa, said: “We did not ex­pect South Africa to win against the world num­ber two side [Sil­ver Ferns] and our star shooter took them by sur­prise. So, right now I’m just hop­ing that our coach can find ways to counter their plans ahead of the World Cup.”

The Spar Proteas will start their World Cup cam­paign against their neme­sis, the Malawi Queens, who are ranked num­ber one in Africa.

South Africa de­feated Malawi at the Diamond Chal­lenge last month to win the tour­na­ment. How­ever, Malawi was then with­out its star shooter, Mwawi Kumwenda, who will be play­ing in the World Cup.

“For­tu­nately, our coach knows the Malaw­ian star be­cause she’s an in­ter­na­tional player and our de­fence has also played against her be­fore, so we’re not wor­ried about her re­turn,” Mthethwa said.

Sin­ga­pore and Sri Lanka are also in South Africa’s pool.

Ac­cord­ing to Mthethwa, South Africa will not take any team for granted, although they have pre­vi­ously beaten Sri Lanka at the Tri-Na­tions in Botswana.

“Sin­ga­pore and Sri Lanka are good teams. Ev­ery­one will be fight­ing to make it to the next round and with Sri Lanka be­ing coached by a New Zealan­der, we are go­ing to ex­pect the un­ex­pected,” she said.

Norma Plum­mer, who was only an­nounced as Proteas coach at the Diamond Chal­lenge, has only been work­ing with the team for a short pe­riod.

Mthethwa is, how­ever, con­fi­dent that Plum­mer will de­liver.

She hopes the Spar Proteas will make it into the semi­fi­nal and im­prove their rank­ings. They are cur­rently ranked world num­ber six.

PHOTO: REG CALDE­COTT / GALLO IM­AGES

TEST­ING Tow­era Vinkhumbo (left) and Lenize Pot­gi­eter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.