Johannesburg – Despite going down 62-53 against England in Sydney on Sunday the South African netball team have shown growth in the Quad Series.
The Proteas were quick to take the lead, and started to find the gaps in the England attack, although their opponents recovered.
Once again, Bongi Msomi was a critical player in driving the ball down the court.
Hitting double figures for the first time in a quarter of the Quad Series, the Proteas finished just one goal behind England at the end of the first quarter (12-13).
An explosive second quarter showed the Proteas in their prime, as they dominated ball possession and ran away with the lead.
Although having a five goal lead at one stage in the second quarter, the England team fought back hard and lessened the gap, ending behind South Africa at half-time 25-27.
England upped their intensity in the third quarter and overtook South Africa by three goals in the first four minutes.
However, it did not take long for the South Africans to up their game, and even the score to 36-all with over five minutes left of that quarter.
The Proteas were playing faster down their attack line, and well on the defensive, but the experience of the England side started to show.
England snuck ahead with a final third quarter score of 44-39 and managed to maintain their five-goal lead for much of the last quarter.
Not willing to give up, the South African side continued to fight up until the last minute, but the England side were just too strong.
“We had a great first half, there was some really good play on court today,” Proteas' captain Amanda Mynhardt said.
“Our ball possession was good and we were a lot more patient, which was great to see.
“The team has really grown and we will continue to grow.
“The Quad Series is the perfect opportunity to concentrate on our growth as individual players and as a team.”
One player in particular who has shown a lot of growth was South African goalshooter Chrisna Bootha.
Bootha achieved her best goal scoring average to date in the match and was the highest scoring individual in the Quad Series thus far.
“She has matured fantastically,” said Proteas' coach Elize Kotze.
“She has a lot of potential, and is one of the strongholds in our team.”
The Proteas take on the Australian Diamonds in their next match on Thursday in Wellington, New Zealand. – Sapa