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Following yesterday’s loss against Jamaica, South Africa started the day with a match against Trinidad & Tobago – a team that is ranked six places under them. The last time these two sides met was during the 2019 Netball World Cup, a match South Africa won.

The biggest news broke before the start of the match was Lenize Potgieter’s withdrawal from the playing team due to a knee injury and she was replaced by Owethu Ngubane. Potgieter sat out two opening matches as a precaution to a niggle she had. She played 30 minutes against Jamaica om Sunday.

The SPAR Proteas exerted pressure right from the start of the game and ensured that they were dominant from the onset. With the exclusion of the Potgieter, coach Plummer started with Nichole Taljaard and Ine Mari Venter upfront – at the back, Phumza Maweni was rested and replaced by Nicola Smith. Trinidad and Tobago were not scared to take the game to South Africa; however, hosts knew how to better utilize their experience to clinch the quarter 18 – 12.

Second quarter was one way traffic with SPAR Proteas enjoying the lion’s share of the possession and goal scoring opportunities. Trinidad and Tobago were restricted to only scoring three goals while conceding 15. South Africa went into the half time break leading 33 -15. Championship quarter was no different as South Africa continued with their dominance in both attack and defence – they ended the quarter leading 51 – 21.

In the last quarter, with seven minutes to go, SPAR Proteas head coach Norma Plummer introduced Owethu Ngubane into the game much to the roar of the crowd – one would think that the noise of the crowd would swallow her, but she stepped up and settled in comfortably in place of Taljaard.

“We needed to shrug off the loss against Jamaica and get ready for today’s game, it didn’t take a lot to motivate the players, they were disappointed like everyone, and they knew what needed to be done. We were better prepared for this match; we needed to come back and regain our confidence. This game was an important win for us,” said SPAR Proteas Assistant Coach Dumisani Chauke.

South Africa will get a rest day on Tuesday before they take on World Champions New Zealand on Wednesday at 18:00.

“We will not see Tuesday as a rest day but rather use it as a time to relax, do some video analysis and prepare for our game against New Zealand. We will sit together and prepare accordingly because we understand how important this game is for us,” Karla Pretorius, SPAR Proteas Vice Captain.

Player of the Match Nichole Taljaard highlights on how important this win was for the team – “as a team we understood how important it was for us to win today, I mean it is sad that Lenize is dropped due to injury however there are other anchors in the team we can rely on. We have played and trained together for a while; we know what is expected of all of us. It was not hard for us to try new combinations; we have been here before and we have succeeded.”