The South African Netball Proteas took on Wales on Tuesday at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and came out on top, winning the match 61-41. South Africa made their intentions known early in the match with a blistering in-form attack led by Lenize Potgieter and Melissa Myburgh hammering the goals in with purpose. In the centre third it was experienced wing attack Zanele Mdodana pulling the strings and controlling the match with forceful long-range passes fed into the goal circle.
At the first quarter break the women in green and gold were leading 20-8 which would be a mammoth task for Wales to correct by half-time. The Welsh women put much-need pressure on their African opponents in the
second quarter, slowing down their scoring rate considerably and pulling their own attacking play together to get some points on the board. It was still the Proteas in the lead however when the half-time whistle blew.
And South Africa’s head coach Elize Kotze would’ve been pleased with the fifteen goal lead of 32-17. It was Wales who came out of their dressing room all guns blazing to score the first two goals of the third quarter and make immaculate interceptions through the Welsh goal defence Ursula Pritchard. There seemed to be trouble in the South African goal circle as four consecutive Myburgh attempts at goal just couldn’t find their way in.
This saw Myburgh leave the court due to injury to be replaced by goal shooter Potgieter, who appeared to still be on fire from her electric first quarter as she paired up perfectly with captain Maryka Holtzhausen to place the Proteas back on track, closing off the third quarter 44-28. In the final quarter, both teams were clearly at war, fortunately without injuries. The Welsh women were flinging themselves in every direction attempting to get the ball to their shooters and secure the points they yearned for, but the Proteas wouldn’t let them prevail as goal defence Karla Mostert and keeper Adele Niemand’s unshakeable resilience grew tiresome for the Welsh.
Although battered and bruised, the Proteas limped away with a hard-fought 61-41 victory. This should boost the South African camp ahead of their meeting with Australia, who seem to be unstoppable so far at the Commonwealth Games 2014.
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