Proteas rebound to beat Tonga and reach fifth-place play-off at Netball World Cup

The Proteas players applaud the crowd after their Netball World Cup 2023 game against Tonga

The Proteas players applaud the crowd after their Netball World Cup 2023 game against Tonga at Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday. Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023

Published Aug 4, 2023


The Proteas will play for fifth place at the Netball World Cup on Sunday after they sealed a solid 72-46 win over Tonga at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday night.

After missing out on the semi-finals, the Proteas bounced back against Tonga, and showed much improvement.

The Proteas were playing in front of boisterous Springbok captain Siya Kolisi and his family, who were in full voice as they showed their support for the side after their impressive showing earlier in the tournament.

Execution was key for the South Africans as Tonga are known for their their dynamic play.

Early in the match, Ine-Mari Venter made some uncharacteristic early misses, but backed up by in-form Nichole Taljaard.

Tonga took the lead early on, as they kept the scoreboard ticking over as they got the better of the home team, who looked like they were struggling a bit in the first quarter.

Things got better in the second quarter as the Proteas started to dominate in attack and defence.

Taljaard showed how strong she can be in defence as she made a number of steals and interceptions, and even adding a number of precious points on the board.

At the break, South Africa held a slender 30-23.

As the game went on, the home side was able to build up a healthy lead. With the team 22 goals up, coach Norma Plummer decided to make some chances with several players going off to make way for Owethu Ngubane, Nicola Smith, and Khanyisa Chawane.

A confident performance saw South Africa eventually seal a convincing win against a potentially tricky Tonga side.

The win means the Proteas will once again play Uganda in the 5th/6th playoff. The two teams met on Thursday night where South Africa got a narrow 52-50 win. That game takes place at 11am on Sunday.


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