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The SPAR Proteas and Roses met for the first time during the Vitality Netball series, the last time these two met was during the 2023 Netball Quad Series in Cape Town in January of this year and it was England who came out on tops. South Africa would want to make sure that they redeem themselves and snatch a victory today.

Both teams had a nervy start in the first quarter with hosts England breaking the ice by scoring first however South Africa wasn’t about to sit back and become spectators in the match. Coach Norma Plummer started the match with a team that fused experienced players with young ones. At the end of the first stanza, it was the Vitality Roses who were leading 16 – 11.

Second quarter was an all-England affair as they took charge of this match and dictated the terms for the better part of the quarter. South Africa made one change in the quarter with the introduction of Kamogelo Maseko at Goal Attack in place of Nichole Taljaard. After 30 minutes, it was England on the driver’s seat taking the quarter 30 – 22.

South Africa came out into the third quarter a different team as they challenged England and took the game to them every chance they got. Jess Thirlby of England made wholesome changes in quick succession, and this worked very well in South Africa’s favour. The team was more settled and stable – coach Plummer made one forced change when Phumza Maweni limped off and got replaced by Nicola Smith at the back who played very well with Karla Pretorius. South Africa took the championship quarter 14 – 13, with the overall score 43 – 36.

The fourth and final quarter was no different for the SPAR Proteas who started the same way they ended. A couple of changes saw skipper Bongiwe Msomi and Khanyisa Chawane being rested and got replaced by Jeante Strydom and Refiloe Nketsa. One would never have said that this is an inexperienced side on court, they did not back down from the challenge that lied ahead of them. This gutsy display of netball was good enough for them to win the quarter 15 – 11 and reduce the scoreline to just three points. It was England ultimately who won the match 54 -51.

South Africa’s Head Coach Norma Plummer said post-match “I think we made it very hard for ourselves when you consider how we started. It was very nervy for us, and we couldn’t pass the ball high enough and played to England’s strength. We came back and eventually got it right. Some of the mistakes we spoke to the girls about in training, they had to see if for themselves now on court – I believe that they will be better and do better next time we take to court. Overall, I am impressed with how we played especially in the second half. I think we will produce some big players from this group soon.”

Score Breakdown:

Q1 – Vitality Roses 16 – 11 SPAR Proteas

Q2 – Vitality Roses 30 – 22 SPAR Proteas

Q3 – Vitality Roses 43 – 36 SPAR Proteas

Q4 – Vitality Roses 54 – 51 SPAR Proteas

SPAR Proteas starting VII.

Ine Mari Venter – GS

Nichole Taljaard – GA

Bongiwe Msomi – WA

Khanyisa Chawane – C

Karla Pretorius – GD

Jeante Strydom – WD

Phumza Maweni – GK

Photo Credit: Morgan Harlow