LIVERPOOL – It was murder on the netball court with the Proteas stopping short of a century of goals over Fiji in their second World Cup match in Liverpool on Saturday.
They steamrolled over Islanders with a 90-35 victory to add to the 76-45 win over Trinidad and Tobago the night before. They would have preferred more resistance ahead of their crucial clash against world number-two Jamaica but would not complain about the victory.
They would nevertheless take confidence from their two victories in as many days. Sunday evening’s meeting with Jamaica will decide which team will top the group.
The top three finishers in each of the four groups will progress to the preliminary rounds where they are divided into two groups. The Proteas will likely have to fight it out against Jamaica, and Commonwealth Games champions England for a place in the semi-finals with the top two sides earning a berth in the playoffs.
South African coach Norma Plummer sent in a new-look starting line up to give every member of her squad time on court. Plummer would be happy with the way some of her fringe players performed against the Fijians, safe in the knowledge she had ample depth as the tournament progressed. Renske Stoltz, Izette Griesel, Zanele Vimbela and Khanyisa Chawane all earned a start.
FAST. SLICK. ORGANISED.— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) July 13, 2019
What a game against Fiji! 🔥 @BongiweMsomi2 got her 100th cap AND was named Player of the Match! 🙌🐯🇿🇦
Looking forward to tomorrow.#Bongi100 #SPARProteas #WeAreAllIn #NWC2019 #SAvFIJ
📸 Reg Caldecott pic.twitter.com/6v6Y4tGQSD
The Proteas raced to a 24-9 lead over Fiji with Stoltz, and Lenize Potgieter only missed two shots at goal between them.
The scoreline ballooned in the second quarter with South Africa extending their lead to 28 goals over the hapless Fijians. The Islanders battled to find a way into the circle where their shooters did a decent job landing shots.
South Africa was in rampant form in defence, forcing turnover upon turnover to provide their shooters with enough ammunition to do severe damage.
Fiji suffered from acute deja vu with each quarter turning into a blood bath with the Proteas finding easy access into the circle.
The Proteas extended their lead to 67-25 going into the final quarter before adding another 23 goals for a comprehensive victory.