Proteas outshine Namibia in opener
The South African netball team, Proteas, coasted to a winning start at the Diamond Challenge in Polokwane yesterday afternoon, beating Namibia 78-28 in the regional tournament opener.
The six-team competition is taking place at the Ngoako Ramatlhodi Sports Complex in Seshego.
It was always going to be a tough start for the Namibians, who have failed to beat SA in nine previous encounters, and are ranked 23 places below the Proteas in the world.
South Africa coach Norma Plummer took the opportunity to ring in the changes in the second half, making sure all 12 of her players had plenty of time on court.
Meanwhile, apart from the convincing win there was more cause for celebration in the SA camp, with goal attack Maryka Holtzhausen earning her 100th cap for the team.
It was a particularly significant venue for reaching the milestone, considering the 31-year-old made her debut in the Limpopo city 11 years ago and hasn't played there in national colours since. She is just the second Proteas player to reach the century mark, after teammate Erin Burger (109).
"I don't think it's that different from when I played my first game at the same venue all those years back," she admitted afterwards.
Proteas captain Bongi Msomi was pleased with her team's first outing, saying: "We felt good. There are quite a few things we still want to work on, but it was just great to step out on court as a team again and get some great passages of play.
"It was a good start but obviously we are never satisfied so we'd like to keep getting better from here."
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