CAPE TOWN – It was a tough day at the office for South Africa following their 67-49 defeat to Jamaica in their 2023 Netball World Cup Pool C match on Sunday.
The Spar Proteas were looking to make it three out of three following their two wins over Wales and Sri Lanka.
The match saw the Spar Proteas all time goal scorer Lenize Potgieter making her first start in the tournament after missing out on the first two matches due to a niggling injury she picked up at training.
It was not going to be smooth sailing for the home side with the Jamaicans coming to the match on a high following their victories over Sri Lanka and Wales respectively.
The Caribbean Island nation side is ranked fourth in the world netball rankings while South Africa is just one place below them.
As expected it was tough with both teams showing their ability by applying physical tactics.
Karla Pretorius had to make way for Nicola Smith after she picked up a bloodied knee.
South Africa trailed by 12 to 16 at the end of the first quarter.
Jamaica continued to put more pressure on the Spar Proteas’ side as the end of the first half was fast approaching maintaining their lead.
The two sides went to the interval with the Jamaicans leading by 32-26.
With the match entering the third quarter, Jamaican captain Jhaniele Fowler was on a high with her 96.2% average scoring 25 off 26 goals.
Proteas’ Potgieter maintained her 100% record of 15 goals in her first start.
Things were not looking good for Norma Plummer’s charges, with the Sunshine Girls managing to find good rhythm.
The home side showed signs of improvement but it was too little too late.
In the end, Jamaica walked away with all the points and topped Pool C – winning all three matches.
Plummer admitted that her plan did not work as she expected.
“We thought we could adjust against the top side that has players who play in top leagues – and that is what we wanted to try – to match their physical side,” said Plummer.
“We knew it was going to be tough – we expected that.
“I think some of our players have an intensity in keeping going, but we haven’t had that ability to be together all the time – maybe that is another thing.”
With the Netball World Cup format explained on Sunday, South Africa will play Trinidad & Tobago on Monday, who finished third in Pool D.
That means South Africa who finishes as G2 goes on to play against Tobago from G6 on Monday at 18:00.
Captain Bongiwe Msomi says all is not over for them.
“I am really pleased with how we started, the girls really kept it strong – there’s a few areas where we could’ve been better, mostly in keeping ball possession and playing in resets,” said Msomi.
“I think it’s a lesson we would need to take, the world cup doesn’t stop today, there are still tough games we are going to come up against.
“If we put all the performances we came up with today, I think we should really be able to match what is coming next.”
— Ayanda Frances Felem (@AyandaFelemZA) July 30, 2023
Image: Netball World Cup