SA netball team ready to end Malawi jinx

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Burta de Kock, head coach of the South African netball squad, has not ruled out their chances of beating Malawi in the second leg of their three-Test series in Cape Town tonight.

De Kock is confident of winning tonight despite their failure to beat a stubborn Malawian side in the first match of the series in Seshego on Saturday.

The match ended in a 45-all stalemate but the visitors should be commended for their spirited display throughout the match.

Malawi are fast becoming South Africa's hoodoo team after they beat them in the Commonwealth Games and the Confederation of Netball Associations of Southern Africa tournament last year. Both countries are using the Test series to prepare their players for the World Championships in New Zealand in November.

Said De Kock after the match: "This was not an easy match for both teams and I'm happy that we did not lose today. It will be a total new ball game in Cape Town and I think we will beat Malawi this time round. I will also use these matches to assess new players in the team."

Wing-attack Nthabiseng Mbatha made an impressive debut for South Africa on Saturday and it came as no surprise when she was voted the player of the match.

Sindisiwe Gumede was also unstoppable upfront as she netted crucial goals for the hosts.

Tonight's match will be played at Good Hope Centre and the final leg will be staged at Howard College in Durban on Wednesday.

Both matches will start at 7pm.

Edith Kaliati, the Malawi coach, is equally optimistic of winning tonight.

"We are not in South Africa for a holiday but to beat your team," Kaliati said.

"These matches are also crucial for our preparations for the World Cup and the players know the importance of winning them."

Malawi's goal-shooter Emma Mzagada was in devastating form on Saturday and her goalscoring ability saw her voted the best shooter of the match.