Erin Burger of the Spar Proteas (left) and Jade Clarke in action. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Erin Burger of the Spar Proteas (left) and Jade Clarke in action. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

The Netball Proteas began the Spar Challenge Tri-Nations tournament with a 58-30 over Namibia at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday. SA led 32-15 at halftime.

The  Proteas went into this match without senior players Karla Pretorius‚ Shadine van der Merwe and Phumza Maweni‚ Sigi Burger‚ Ine-Mari Venter‚ Lefebre Rademan and Lenize Potgieter who are playing overseas.

As a result‚ coach Dorette Badenhorst fielded a mixture of experience and youth with five new caps — Nonsikelelo Mazibuko‚ Chantelle Swart‚ Nozipho Ntshangase‚ Simoné Rabie and Sian Moore.

In the win over Namibia‚ who did not offer much resistance‚ Badenhorst used all 12 members of the squad and inexperienced players got needed game time ahead of the challenging match against the She Cranes of Uganda in the evening.

“We played well for a first game‚” said Badenhorst. “Our conversion rate from centre pass was good‚ but there were still a lot of mistakes. The team needs to adapt to the new circle of players without regulars such as star shooter Lenise Potgieter.

“I was pleased with the performance of the new caps. They will have got rid of some of their jitters‚ which is important‚ because the match against the Uganda She-Cranes will be a different story.”

Badenhorst also praised the Namibian Debmarine Desert Jewels by saying they were an exciting up and coming team. “With hard work‚ I am sure they will be at the World Cup in 2023.”

Namibian coach Julene Meyer was frustrated at the number of unforced errors from her team.

“We were conceding between six and eight goals a quarter because of unnecessary mistakes. I think we are still in third gear‚ we need more exposure to the speed and intensity of a match against one of the world’s top teams‚” said Meyer.

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