South Africa will face world number one Australia in their Netball World Cup semi-final after suffering their first defeat of the tournament with a 58-47 loss to England on Thursday night.
On the one side, South Africa looked rattled, while the Roses shooters at the opposite end were the picture of composure and accuracy in the first half.
The England attack ran circles around the Proteas defenders, who would cause havoc on any other day.
South Africa could not get a foothold, suffering an early setback when captain and centre Bongi Msomi left the court early in the first quarter with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
A clinical England side found easy access into the circle, with Joanne Harten and Helen Housby combining well with accurate shooting.
The home side raced to a 19-11 lead after 15 minutes of action.
The Proteas worked hard to claw their way back, with England threatening to run away with the match.
They produced an improved second quarter, but England still came out on top, scoring 12 goals to nine to lead by 11 points going into the halftime break.
Proteas coach Norma Plummer replaced wing attack Izette Griesel with Khanyisa Chawane, injecting some pace in the second half.
South African finally found some positive momentum in the third quarter by moving the ball across the court with greater urgency and purpose.
They valiantly fought their way back to get within nine points, but let it slip and allowed England to boss them around for a 13-point lead going into the final quarter.
England finish top of Group G. South Africa will meet Australia in Saturday’s Semi-Final, England will meet New Zealand. Still lots to be proud of! Bring on the Semi-Finals! 🇿🇦🏐🏆#SPARProteas #WeAreAllIn #SAvENG #NWC2019 pic.twitter.com/HFmNbSUb6F— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) July 18, 2019
Plummer introduced Sigi Burger into the circle, where she replaced goal shooter Lenize Potgieter, who was not her composed self, landing only 81 percent of her shots.
South Africa managed to hand England their first quarter loss of the tournament, winning the final period 17-15.
#NWC2019 #SAvENG— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) July 18, 2019
🇿🇦 47-58 🏴
Sigrid Burger 11/12 (92%)
Maryka Holtzhausen 19/27 (70%)
Lenize Potgieter 17/21 (81%)
Rachel Dunn 4/5 (80%)
Joanne Harten 30/33 (91%)
Helen Housby 24/26 (92%)#SPARProteas #WeAreAllIn