Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
23 Jan 2020
3:20 pm

Losing Proteas keep fighting

Wesley Botton

Small margins again for Dorette Badenhorst's charges as they're under pressure in Netball Nations Cup.

Kate Shimmin of Vitality Roses and Lenize Pogieter of South Africa in action during the Vitality Netball Nations Cup 2020 match between Vitality Roses and South Africa SPAR Proteas at Arena Birmingham on January 22, 2020 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images for England Netball)

Though they were handed another narrow defeat in their midweek clash against hosts England, the South African team were keeping their heads up ahead of this weekend’s action at the Netball Nations Cup.

The Proteas led the match at half-time in Birmingham on Wednesday night, one point clear of the Roses at 26-25, but England clawed their way ahead and opened a small gap to secure a 58-54 victory.

“It was a great game from both teams,” said Proteas head coach Dorette Badenhorst.

“I think we started really well and played good netball, but a few mistakes cost us our lead and I just think we need to learn from this and come back stronger.

“There were some great sets of play on court, but we need to defend as a unit, we need to turn more balls and keep possession.

“When things go wrong we need to stay positive and stay in the game because we really had a bad third quarter again.”

While their second loss of the competition saw them losing out on a spot in Sunday’s final, Badenhorst hoped her squad would secure a morale boosting win over world champions New Zealand in their last round robin match in London on Saturday.

She remained confident they could put up a fight, despite carrying the underdog tag into the dead rubber match.

“I’m still positive, provided we learn from our mistakes and use this experience to improve,” she said.

“We will prepare well for New Zealand. The game is not going to have an influence on the final, but I think it’s very important we set a game plan and stick to it.

“For the confidence of the players, it’s very important that we do well.”

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