'Keep it low against Fiji, Proteas'

SOUTH African national netball team player Zanele Mdodana feels that using high balls against the visiting Fijians will be suicidal.

SOUTH African national netball team player Zanele Mdodana feels that using high balls against the visiting Fijians will be suicidal.

"I played them a couple of years ago, they are physically strong. We will need to keep the ball low and control it," said Mdodana, who has recovered from a niggling back injury .

"If we try and pop it high, they will latch on to it in a flash because they shoot off from the ground like you won't believe,"

Coach Carine Strauss's side takes on Fiji and Botswana in a four-match series. The opening match will be againstBotswana at the University of Pretoria's Rembrandt Hall tonight at 7. The Fijians, who are ranked eighth, are more than a match for the South Africans, who are one spot above them.

Mdodana from Eastern Cape is a utility player.

She is a dynamic wing defence and is equally effective as wing attack.

Strauss has introduced three new players to the team and according to captain Liezel Wium, it is all systems go for the showpiece.

"This is a great time for new players to gain the necessary exposure - it has to happen at some point.

The bigger the pool of capable players, who can be called upon to represent the country, the better," said Wium.

Wium's deputy Precious Mthembu said: "What matters is to get quality combinations. We need to maintain the same team because the more we play together, the smoother it will be."

Botswana are ranked 18th in the world.

"We have played Fiji and have beaten them before. In the SA team, we need to watch out for goal shooter Tsakane Mbewe," said coach Moses Dikolane.

X