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16 January 2022, London – Day two of the Netball Quad Series saw the SPAR Proteas who are ranked fifth in the latest World Netball rankings take on world’s number one; the Australian Diamonds. The two sides have locked horns forty times with South Africa yet to win against the Aussies.

Dorette Badenhorst made a few changes to the team that started on day one of the tournament. During her post match interview against England, the coach did admit that her team did not play well and promised a better display on her second game.

The SPAR Proteas were the first team to get off the starting blocks and drew first blood and took the game to Australia. The combination of Rademan and Venter in attack seemed to have been yielding the desired as the pair made sure to convert all their chances. The short passing game of the SPAR Proteas worked well in their favour as they kept the lead for a good thirteen minutes and only lost the quarter at the end 14-12.

In the second quarter, Badenhorst brought on Tshina Mdau on Wing Defence and moved Monique Reyneke to Goal Defence in the place of Vimbela. The SPAR Proteas changed their game plan a bit playing long passes which was not really working for them, they quickly went back to their original short passes game. Mdau was very clinical in the middle of the court making some crucial intercepts. The second quarter went to Australia who won it 27-23.

Based on how South Africa performed in the first two quarters, you could tell that Badenhorst had a tough talk with them going into this game. The start of the championship quarter saw both teams making a few changes to their teams. Vimbela made a return at the back to partner with Maweni and Khanyisa Chawane replaced Mdau at Wing Defence.

The Australian Diamonds ran with the game in the third quarter and made sure that they cement their lead. Nicola Smith took to court at goal defence to replace Vimbela. The Aussies took the quarter 45-32 and extended their lead by thirteen points.

A few tactical and positional changes in the last quarter saw the SPAR Proteas captain make way for Mdau. Izette Griesel moved to the centre role which was previously occupied by Msomi. Australia proved to be tactically stronger than their counterparts and dominated the remainder of the match.

A few more changes from Badenhorst saw Jessica du Plessis taking to court on behalf of Rademan at Goal Attack. It was not meant to be for South Africa who played better but just did not win the match. Australia won the match 60-40 at the end of it all.

“Today we played better, the players played for each other and trusted each other better than they did yesterday. We had a game plan and what I saw today was the team carrying it out. The players that were called up to play really stepped up and I am happy with our performance for today. It has been particularly important for us to play against some of the best in the world so that we get ready for Commonwealth Games mid-year,” said SPAR Proteas Head Coach Dorette Badenhorst.

Australia Starting VII:
GK: Courtney Bruce; GD: Maddy Turner; C: Kate Moloney; WA: Page Hadley; WD: Ash Brazill; GA: Steph Wood; GS: Gretel Bueta

South Africa Starting VII:
GS: Ine-Mari Venter; GA: Lefebre Rademan; WA: Izette Griesel; C: Bongiwe Msomi; WD: Monique Reyneke; GD: Zanele Vimbela; GK: Phumza Maweni

South Africa will take on New Zealand on Tuesday 18 January 2022 at 19:15 CAT. The match will be televised on SuperSport Variety 1 (Channel 206)

Score Breakdown
Q1 Australia 14 – 12 South Africa
Q2 Australia 27 – 23 South Africa
Q3 Australia 45 – 32 South Africa
Q4 England 60 – 40 South Africa

Photo Credit: England Netball / Ben Lumley Photo (@englandnetball @benlumleyphoto)