JOHANNESBURG – The Proteas hope their two-match series against Wales was enough to rid them of any cobwebs ahead of the Netball World Cup which kicks off in Liverpool over the weekend.
The South Africans were in fine form against the hosts romping to an 84-32 win on Thursday evening before a 79-44 drubbing the following night.
The matches were their first since January with Proteas coach Norma Plummer giving the entire squad time on the court.
“It is fantastic to get two games under our belt, considering we haven’t had a game since January, I was pleased with the output of the players,” Plummer said.
“Last night, I was able to introduce every player to the court, and they got a fair bit of court time over the two games.”
Plummer said she hoped to line up another match before their campaign starts in earnest with their opening match against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday.
“This will just help us going into the World Cup, and I hope by the time we get to Liverpool that I might have been able can pick up another game with one of the teams within the opposite pools,” Plummer said.
The last time the Proteas played together before this series they made history in January beating England in their backyard for the first time in 19 years with a 48-45 victory in the Quad Series. They also came painstakingly close to beating New Zealand before going down 62-60 with the match decided on golden goals at the end of extra-time.
Proteas vice-captain Karla Pretorius said the matches against the Welsh allowed the team to give all the players time to remove some rust and identify areas they needed to improve on.
“It was the first time since the start of the year that we could play together, and it was two good games,” Pretorius said. “There are still a few things we need to work on, but we could identify it in the two games.”
The matches allowed Sigi Burger, who was called into the squad after Ine-Mari Vetner was withdrawn due to injury, to find her feet. Burger looked sharp in the match against Wales boasting a shooting record of 92 percent.
First-choice shooter Lenize Potgieter only missed one of her shots at goal in the second match.
The #SPARProteas 🇿🇦 have been grouped in Pool C of the 2019 @NetballWorldCup 🏆 in Liverpool with Jamaica 🇯🇲 Trinidad & Tobago 🇹🇹 and Fiji 🇫🇯— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) July 8, 2019
Their campaign begins THIS FRIDAY tune in 📺 for ALL the matches 🏐 LIVE on @SuperSportTV https://t.co/GNUU42zPDo#WeAreAllIn #NWC2019 pic.twitter.com/309OgDm4oR