Cape Town - Taking on Australia was never going to be easy and boy the Spar Proteas were made to work hard in their Commonwealth Games encounter on Tuesday.
South African went down 74-49 in Birmingham and the defeat means their semi-final place is not guaranteed at this stage.
The top ranked side were on the front foot from the get go with the Aussie defence using their physicality to out-muscle SA.
However goal shooter Ine-Marie Venter kept the South Africans in the game by keeping the scoreboard ticking.
Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst made some changes in the last five minutes of the first quarter which paid off and showed in the final moments with South Africa improving on attack.
Australia’s goal shooter Gretel Bueta was in control of things led her side to a 19-11 lead by the end of Q1.
Q2 started with no changes from either side and the Proteas got off to a much better start with Venter getting the points.
🇦🇺🆚🇿🇦— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) August 1, 2022
Not our day against the World Number 1. Team South Africa giving it their all 'til the very last whistle
SOUTH AFRICA 49#TeamSA | #B2022 | @TeamSA2024 pic.twitter.com/5hXYNtYDCh
However the Australians showed why they are they are the best in the world as Bueta and goal attack Steph Wood worked their magic on the court.
South Africa weren’t as fluent as they were against Barbados on Sunday and at times looked like they lacked confidence as the Aussies calmly went about their work, leading 40-24 at the half-time break.
There were moments of brilliance from South Africa in Q3 as Elmere van der Berg made Liz Watson work hard for Australia.
The intensity they were looking for came when Bongi Msomi was moved to wing attack, which saw things improve and they became a bit more fluid in attack.
Despite Australia slowing down in defence they made minimal handling errors and were able continue to keep a good handle on the game ending Q3 56-37 ahead.
Cara Koenen looked as fresh as a daisy and kept Australia scoring, helping them keep control of the game and not giving South Africa much room.
It was one way traffic in the last 15 minutes with Australia dominating proceedings, making sure South Africa had few opportunities.
Van der Berg was used her strength in the circle in a bid to score and South Africa started playing better in latter stages, but it was a little too late and the defeat means they are yet to beat Australia.
The Proteas next face Wales on Wednesday at 12:50pm SA time.