Proteas miss out on semi-finals

After being driven hard by Uganda, Proteas win by a narrow margin but its not good enough to reach the semi-finals

Netball corner

8/4/20232 min read

After Jamaica beat the defending champions, New Zealand, by 11 points, South Africa was tasked with the near impossible mission of beating the Ugandan She Cranes by 64 or more points in order to make it through to the semi-finals.

The task proved to be too heavy for the Proteas as they faced the ever determined She Cranes at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday afternoon.

The match began with a brilliant performance by the entire team on both ends. Venter and Taljaard at the shooting end and Pretorius and Maweni in the defensive end. The Proteas dominated the She Cranes in defence with multiple intercepts and a stifling hands-over defence that kept the Ugandans at just 19 gaols by half time. The 33-19 half time finish had the hopes of the nation high that the semi-finals were in reach.

The second half proved to shatter those dreams as Uganda quickly diminished the 14-gaol deficient. Young shooter van der Berg was brought in the place of Taljaard at the beginning of the 3rd quarter, a decision that was quickly changed as the Proteas struggled to find space in the shooting third. Taljaard was brought back into GA and van der Berg was moved to shooter as Venter went to the bench. Despite these changes the Proteas only scored two goals in the first 7 minutes of the quarter. A performance reminiscent of the Proteas 3rd quarter performance against Jamaica, in the opening stages of the competition, who won the quarter by 20 goals to 3. Uganda won the 3rd quarter by 9 goals and reduced the deficit to just 5 points.

The Uganda’s continued their intensity in the final quarter. A number of brilliant intercepts from the She Cranes narrowed the margin to just on point for majority of the quarter. The match ended with 52-50 victory for the Spar Proteas.

This was a sweet revenge for the Proteas who lost to the She Cranes at the 2022 commonwealth games. The win, however, is not enough to take the Proteas through to the semi-finals, the margin being too small. That means that there is absolutely no chance at a medal for the Spar Proteas. The Proteas have two more games to play for 5th place. The Proteas will play Tonga on Friday 6pm and will play Uganda or Malawi (Depending on winner) after that on the 6th of August.

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