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The 2023 edition of the FAST5 International series kickstarted in Christchurch and South Africa who finished second last year wanted to make sure that they don’t lose that position for anything but a gold medal.

South Africa faced off against Jamaica in their final match of the day and this was a must win for the team as they wanted to make sure that they end the day on a high. It was South Africa who were very quick off the mark as soon as the whistle went off, they made sure to maintain their lead for the duration of the match.

The team showed a much better improved netball in this match with everyone pulling their weight to ensure that the team gets over the line and get maximum points. Ane Retief who put in a good shift earned herself a Player of the Match accolade after South Africa won 33-17 against Jamaica.

I think we have gained our confidence and got combinations right with every game that we played today. This win is very important for us because it shows that we are doing something right, we are taking the lessons from every match and applying what we are learning and what we planned on doing on the day. So ja, this win is important,” said Ane Retief post the match.

In an earlier match, South Africa took on current FAST5 champions Australia in what was last year’s final match of the tournament. Marha Mosoahle – Samm and her charges wanted to make sure that history does not repeat itself. The gutsy approach to the game really suggested that South Africa wanted to put one past the defending champions however a few missed opportunities by South Africa and conversions by Australia during power play intervals was the difference maker as Australia clinched the match 38-32. South Africa lost their opening match 37-26 against England in the first game of the day.

The South African Male National team made their debut at this year’s event, and they were a surprise package for everyone. Coach Neville Chapepa assembled a very young team however on debut, this meant nothing. South Africa took on Australia in their opening match of the tournament and shocked everyone as they led this match for three consecutive quarters and only letting their guard down within the last quarter to lose 50-39 at the end.

Speaking after a great performance that earned him a Player of the Match accolade, Shane Labuschagne said “coming here, we did not know what to expect from others except stiff competition. We knew that we needed to play our best and execute the game plan perfectly. This award is for everyone in the team, we played well together and grateful for the experience.”

Both South African teams will take own the Silver Ferns on Sunday, 12th November 2023 at 02:30am and 03:15am respectively. The ladies last match will be against Malawi at 05:30 before play offs.

We started off very slow today and this to be honest was expected, we have seven new players in the team, so it was a little bit tough for them to adjust and adapt – I am happy with how we ended though. I could see us taking a turn during the Australia game and I was very happy there. The key lessons from today are that we need to keep ball in hand more and try to score as many goals as possible. We are playing two tough games tomorrow because both our opponents play different types of netball, but this is Fast 5 netball, so anything is possible,” said Martha Mosoahle – Samm.

The FAST5 Netball World Series will be broadcast 11-12 November 2023 LIVE on SuperSport Variety 4 (Channel 209) from 01:15 on 11 November and 00:45 12 November. All times CAT.

12-Nov-2023 New Zealand vs South African 02:30 CAT
12-Nov-2023 Men: New Zealand vs South Africa 03:15 CAT
12-Nov-2023 Malawi vs South Africa 05:30 CAT
12-Nov-2023 Men Final 06:30 CAT
12-Nov-2023 5th/6th Place Play-off 07:20 CAT
12-Nov-2023 3rd/4th Place Play-off 08:10 CAT
12-Nov-2023 Final 09:00 CAT
*Schedule subject to change at short notice.

Photo Credit: Michael Bradley Photography