While she is satisfied that they have been able to consistently take the battle to a higher-ranked England team, captain Bongi Msomi believes the South African netball side will need to take another step up if they are to convert narrow defeats into victories.
The Proteas were outclassed once again on Saturday, falling in a 59-53 loss to the Roses, who took an unassailable 2-0 lead in their three-match series at Bellville Velodrome.
It was their fourth successive defeat to England after securing a rare victory over the Commonwealth Games champions in the Quad Series earlier this year.
“We’re obviously happy that we’re playing close games against England, but we want to win and I don’t think we’re really satisfied because we know what we can produce,” Msomi said.
England raced to a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and maintained a four-point advantage at half-time (31-27).
As they had done in the series opener the night before, the Proteas narrowed the gap in the third quarter and trailed by just two points (43-41) going into the final stanza.
The Roses regained control in the last 15 minutes, however, and extended their lead to win the series with a match to spare.
With a few senior players missing, including recently retired veterans Maryka Holtzhausen and Erin Burger, Msomi admitted they needed time to work on new combinations.
She felt they also needed to develop a killer instinct after giving games away at the death.
“We have 12 girls who are playing well, but within that group we still need to be able to pull through,” the skipper said.
“That’s where we’re lacking at this stage, which is quite disappointing.”