Fifth-ranked South Africa has been drawn to play fourth-ranked Jamaica in the first round of the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, but SPAR Proteas coach Norma Plummer is unconcerned.
“It is what it is,” she said.
“Yes, we lost to Jamaica at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in February, but in fact, it was only in the last seven minutes that they took control of the match. We won the first and third quarters. We had a problem with our shooters – our best shooter, Lenize Potgieter was injured and it’s hard to make up for someone like that,” said Plummer.
The SPAR Proteas, ranked fifth in the world, will also play Trinidad and Tobago, who recently qualified by winning a qualifying tournament, and 15th-ranked Fiji.
“We should have some good matches in the first round,” said Plummer.
“That will help us when we get into the business end of the tournament. “Australia have a very easy first round, playing Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka and that won’t help them to prepare for the tougher matches in the second round.”
“The important thing is we only need to finish second in our group to go into the top half of the competition in the second round,” said Plummer.
New Zealand, ranked third after finishing out of the medals at the Commonwealth Games, are up against Barbados, Malawi and Singapore while Commonwealth gold medallists, England, have been grouped with Uganda, Scotland and Samoa.
The Netball World Cup will be played in Liverpool from July 12 to 21.