CAPE TOWN – South Africa have been left to breathe for another day at the Netball World Cup after their match against New Zealand on Wednesday.
The Spar Proteas gave it all at the main court against the defending champions to salvage a point following a 48-48 draw in front of a packed CTICC.
The match started on a high between the two teams with the venue having full capacity after fans came out in numbers.
Both sides came with just one goal in mind. South Africa needed to beat the Silver Ferns to stand in a good position to win the title on home soil. While New Zealand’s goal is to defend their title.
The hosts had an early opportunity to take the lead, but Ine-Marí Venter’s shot went wide. Silver Ferns capitalised to take the 11-10 close lead at the end of the first quarter.
The two sides had each other in the throat as the second quarter started on a 90 degrees mode.
Coach Norma Plummer introduced Elmerè van der Berg early in the match during the second quarter, taking Venter’s place who could only score 11 out of 17 goals.
Meanwhile, Silver Ferns goal shooter Maia Wilson had a good scoring rate taking her side to the narrow 26-21 lead at the interval.
Plummer was not done in strengthening her side, in the middle of the court, Khanyisa Chawane replaced captain Bongiwe Msomi.
However, later in the third quarter, Chawane had to be taken out due to the knock she got, and Msomi returned.
Noeline Taurua’s charges maintained their lead at the end of the third quarter by 38-34.
But the hosts showed high-intensity energy into the fourth quarter, Plummer’s side showed the packed CTICC that they are not done yet and they must not be counted out of the tournament contention.
South Africa with the push of their supporters managed to capitalise and equalise in the dying minutes.
Msomi has showered praises on her teammates.
“I feel good, today we threw everything we had in this match, I am very proud of the girls and how we approached the match, especially the third and last quarter,” said Msomi.
“And we have a coach who pushes us through, we stuck to what we have practised a day before and made sure we stay on that.
“It was tough but I’m very proud of how we played today and gave it all.”
The point means South Africa still remained in third place with two points behind Silver Points.
The Proteas will face their African counterpart on Thursday at 16:00.
Image: Netball World Cup/ Shaun Roy