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SA women’s netball team retain fifth spot in world rankings

The SA women's netball team line up before a match. Picture: Reg Caldecott

The SA women's netball team line up before a match. Picture: Reg Caldecott

Published Jan 13, 2022

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Johannesburg - The South African women’s team retained fifth place in the latest World Netball rankings released on Thursday, while Uganda moved into sixth place.

There has been no change in the top five netball nations with Australia ranked number one, the World Champions, New Zealand, ranked number two and the Commonwealth Games Champions, England ranked third. They are followed by Jamaica and South Africa.

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Uganda, a growing force in world netball, have risen to number six, replacing South Africa’s long-time nemesis, Malawi, who have dropped to seventh place.

Uganda benefitted from their strong showing at the Africa Netball Cup in Windhoek, which was won by the Proteas, who defended their title in style, winning every match.

Uganda went into the tournament on a high, having won the Debmarine Pent Series, which involved hosts Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Kenya.

Uganda was unbeaten in that tournament, which is part of a series aimed at helping lower-tier countries to improve their rankings and qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August.

Zambia dropped two places to 17th, and Namibia moved up three places to 22nd.

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The Proteas are currently in the United Kingdom for the 2022 Quad Series in London from Saturday to January 19. The other teams taking part are England, Australia and New Zealand.

The first match of the tournament will be hosts England’s up against the Proteas on Saturday.

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Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst said: “It is always great to play against some of the best teams in the world, this gives you a sense of where you are as a team.

“I am delighted that we will get a chance to compete at this level especially after playing Africa Netball Championships and spending time in Ireland and Northern Ireland, respectively. We just need to do a bit of adjusting now and step up.”

Proteas captain Bongiwe Msomi said: “It is always an honour for anyone of us to take to court and represent our country.

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“The mood in the camp is very jovial and everyone is incredibly positive. We have a few young players in the team and we as the senior players need to make sure that we guide them and hold their hands in this series.”

SuperSport have confirmed that all the matches will be broadcast on SuperSport Variety 4 DStv channel 209) between the Saturday and January 19.

A busy schedule awaits the Proteas as they will also be participating in the Commonwealth Games in July.

Badenhorst said: “This is probably the last time we will be together before Commonwealth Games in July. We will also be looking at getting some game time with teams that will not be playing in Commonwealth. From our side, preparations are already underway, and we just need to finalise an opponent for then.”

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