CAPE TOWN – The SPAR Proteas retained their unbeaten record at the SPAR Challenge Tri-Nations tournament in the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Tuesday, with an emphatic 59-26 win over the Namibian Debmarine Desert Jewels. The SPAR Proteas led 26-12 at halftime.
It was their third victory over Namibia, who are ranked 23rd in the world. The SPAR Proteas are ranked fifth. Despite the heavy defeat, the Debmarine Desert Jewels played better than they did on Monday, when they lost heavily to the Ugandan She-Cranes. They fought hard for the ball and achieved some audacious turnovers. They were also more disciplined and conceded fewer penalties.
South Africa, who have appeared untroubled throughout the tournament, played well, turning the ball frequently and keeping the shooting circle well supplied. SPAR Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst was able to ring the changes, trying different combinations and giving all her players some game time.
The SPAR Proteas shooters were on song and the defenders were outstanding. SPAR Proteas goalkeeper, Simone Rabie was named most valued player.
“We knew they would come hard at us, but we stuck to the game plan and had the mindset to pull it through,” said SPAR Proteas assistant coach, Dumisani Chauke.
Namibian coach Julene Meyer said she was much happier.
“We started better than we did against Uganda yesterday and we competed better for the ball.
“We had some moments of brilliance. What we need to do is to stretch those moments of brilliance to become more consistent,”
Meyer said the SPAR Challenge Tri-Nations had been invaluable for the Namibian team as it strives to qualify for the Commonwealth Games next year and the Netball World Cup in Cape Town in 2023.
Namibian captain, Jatjinda Kambatuku announced her retirement from international netball after the match.
Earlier, there was a nail-biting match between the SPAR Baby Proteas and the President’s XII, which the President’s XII won by the narrow margin of 38 goal to 36. The Under-21 team led throughout but the President’s XII stormed back in the final quarter to surge into the lead with just five minutes left in the match. The President’s XII won four of the five matches between the two teams.
The final two matches of the tournament are between the President’s XII and Namibia at two pm on Wednesday afternoon, followed by the ninth test between the SPAR Proteas and the Ugandan She-Cranes. That match starts at 4pm.