Proteas Power Past Wales

Lenize Potgieter scored 49 goals to guide South Africa to an emphatic 68-40 victory over Wales in their Pool F encounter in Sydney on Tuesday at the Netball World Cup.  The South Africans raced to an early 4-1 lead through Potgieter as they capitalised on some opening errors from the Welsh side.  The attacking pair of Emma Thomas and Chelsea Lewis kept them in touching distance but the Proteas were moving the ball around well and their passes were going to hand as Potgieter and Maryka Holtzhausen continued to keep the scoreboard ticking with a further eight goals to take the score to 12-5. 
 
At 13-8 Holtzhausen had a chance from distance but was unable to extend the lead as the British side got the defensive rebound.  In a matter of minutes the ladies in red capitalised on an advantage call as they worked the ball with pace and accuracy to get themselves within three at 13-10.  However after a few more misses from Lewis, Potgieter maintained her hitherto perfect record at 13 goals from 13 chances and took Norma Plummer’s ladies into the quarter break with a five goal cushion at 15-10. 
 
The ladies in green and gold opened the scoring in the second quarter and went on to score three unanswered goals to stretch their lead to 19-12.  Potgieter had her first miss of the match but made up for it with two goals in a row to take the South African side into an nine goal lead.  The Welsh forced an intercept in the tenth minute which was scored by Lewis as they reduced the deficit to seven at 23-16. 
 
A defensive error by Wales and an intercept at the back from Bongiwe Msomi sent the South Africans on the attack with Potgieter netting the next goal at 27-19.  In the final two minutes the Proteas skipper Holtzhausen scored two goals back-to-back to extend the lead to 30-20.  Trish Wilcox’s side got a great intercept on the attack which was converted by Lewis to reduce the lead to nine but in a matter of seconds later Norma Plummer’s players scored another goal to restore their ten goal cushion at the half-time break. 
 
Potgieter picked up where she left off and opened the scoring for the South Africans followed by a goal from substitute Elsje Du Plessis to stretch ahead at 33-21.  Early infringements saw the Proteas take control of this quarter and race ahead 36-23.   An interception in the middle of the court saw South Africa on the attack once more with some pace and clean passes which culminated with a Du Plessis goal at 41-25. 
 
The Africans’ stepped up their play taking total control of this match 46-28 with Potgieter bagging her 34th of the match.  The South African attacking pair continued to find the net as they took their side past the half-century mark to achieve their highest scoring quarter, 24 goals, with the score on 55-29 at the final break.  In the final quarter the Tuks goal shooter got the ladies in green and gold underway before sharing the load with her attacking partner Du Plessis to take their side to 62-33. 
 
In the final stages of the match the confident Proteas continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over as they finished with a 68-40 victory over their Welsh opponents, to condemn Wilcox’s women to their first defeat of the tournament.  Plummer and co will face the Australians on Wednesay in their next match. 
 
Photo credit : Murray Wilkinson (NWC2015 Media)