Erin Burger is confident on South Africa's chances at the Netball World Cup. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

LIVERPOOL – South Africa's women's team could find it difficult at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool as they play their first group match against Trinidad and Tobago on Friday (start at 18h25).

Looking at the various groups, it seems that the Proteas will eventually need to beat either England or Jamaica to make the semifinals - that's if they make it that far in the tournament.

The Proteas' best result at the World Cup  was in 1995 when they were the runners-up.

Erin Burger, a vital member of the Proteas is quietly confident that she and her teammates could surprise a few countries. 

"For everyone, there is no more significant honour than playing for South Africa. Over the last four years, we might have lacked in many ways compared to what happens in Australia, New Zealand and England, but I think that makes us hungrier to succeed.

"Over December, many of us decided not to go on holiday but instead to focus on getting fitter and to hone our individual skills. It was not seen as a sacrifice. 

"It was pure passion that made us decide to do so," explained Burger, who has represented the Proteas in 115 games, the most by any South African player.

Another reason for the former Tuks player’s confidence is that she feels that the team is continuously learning from the mistakes made in previous games. 

As an example, she referred to the Proteas encounter against Jamaica during last year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. 

"We outplayed them during the first three quarters, but unfortunately during the last 15 minutes, we made too many mistakes. It led to us losing by 11 goals. We now realise that no game is won or lost until the final whistle blows."

After their match on Friday night, the Proteas play Fiji on Saturday and then have a major challenge against Jamaica on Sunday.

However Burger believes they can come out on top.

"Jhaniele Fowler is undoubtedly one of the best goal-shooters in international netball. Luckily for us, Carla Pretorius has been consistently good this season. 

"She and Phumza Maweni honed their defensive combination playing for the Sunshine Coast Lightning team in the Australian Super Netball Series so that will really help us." added Burger.  

African News Agency (ANA)