Liverpool, United Kingdom: The clash of the two top world ranked netball African countries was always going to be a tricky affair. South Africa who are ranked fifth in the world took on their fellow Africans Uganda who are just a spot behind them ranked sixth. The clash promised to be very physical one from the start. Both teams have met 10 times prior to today and South Africa has won eight of those meetings with Uganda only winning two.
But the SPAR Proteas proved their worth late Wednesday evening and despite a slow start beat the Uganda Cranes 65-37 to earn a historic spot in the last four of the Vitality Netball World Cup being played in Liverpool. This extended South Africa’s winning streak to five games.
For the South Africa the game was very important as a win against Uganda would see them booking at a seat at the semi-finals of the Netball World Cup which is something that they have not been able to do it in 24 years.
Over the past four games South Africa have always been quick off the mark and drew first blood against their opponents, tonight was somewhat different. Norma Plummer fielded a strong starting seven, the intentions here were very clear and this became very evident in how they played and quickly converting their chances. South Africa got off to a solid start and went onto the lead 19 -10 by the end of quarter one.
The SPAR Proteas seemed very resolute in their approach to this game because as soon as the second quarter started, they were raring to go and converted two chances in as many minutes. Both teams seemed to be going at each other, the ball was going in the net from one end to the other. The Proteas managed to extinguish the Ugandan attacks towards the latter part of the quarter and took charge. At the end of the second quarter, South Africa led Uganda 31 – 23, even though Uganda won that quarter by a point margin.
Uganda returned from the half-time break and continued where they left off before the teams went to the break, they were quick off the mark converted their chances very quickly. South Africa regained their composure and managed to take control of the game, going into the third quarter break leading 46 -33.
The South African team knew what was at stake for them, they came back from the benches at the start of the fourth quarter looking very hungry, it’s like they could see themselves in the semis already, they played like a team wanting this even more. They took the quarter 19 -4 and won the match 65 -37
Player of the match went to South Africa’s Goal Shooter Lenize Potgieter.