Sunshine Girls inflict first World Cup defeat on SA

Proteas handed tough semis route as Jamaicans rule

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Players during the Netball World Cup 2023, Pool C match between Jamaica and South Africa at Cape Town International Convention Centre Court 1 on July 30, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Players during the Netball World Cup 2023, Pool C match between Jamaica and South Africa at Cape Town International Convention Centre Court 1 on July 30, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images

It lived up to expectations as the ‘grudge match’ between rivals but in the end Jamaica flexed their considerable muscles to dampen the mood of the 5,000-strong crowd here at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.  

The Sunshine Girls overpowered the Spar Proteas 67-49 to hand the Netball World Cup hosts their first defeat of the tournament and leave them with a difficult path to the semifinals, according to the complicated set of permutations.  

SA will take on Trinidad and Tobago this evening and that match will be followed by clashes against highly unpredictable Uganda and New Zealand in their pursuit of the semis.  

The Proteas fought gallantly in the first two quarters but they ran out of steam against this quality Jamaican side that boasts most of the players who play in the reputable Australian Super Netball League.  

Coach Norma Plummer resorted to her best possible team with defender Phumza Maweni, centre Khanyisa Chawane and attacker Lenize Potgieter back in the starting line-up.  

Potgieter was the eye-catching inclusion in the starting line-up as she missed out the opening two comprehensive wins over Wales and Sri Lanka due to a niggling injury.  

Jamaican captain and dependable goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler was involved a ding-dong battle with South African star goalkeeper Maweni.  

SA briefly took the lead for the first time after seven minutes but the Jamaicans held their own and continued to keep the scoreboard ticking and they enjoyed a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter.  

Jamaica started the second quarter strongly and at some stage they opened a sizeable eight-point lead but SA improved with the introduction of exciting goal attacker Nichole Taljaard for Nicola Smith.

When half time arrived, the Jamaica’s lead was on six points with Taljaard having injected the much-needed energy to their work with a contribution of seven goals.  

Jamaica took this game by the scruff of the neck in the third quarter which they ended with them enjoying a 23-point lead and it worth mentioning that the Proteas only scored three goals in this period.  

The combination of Ine-Marí Venter and Taljaard gave Dehaney and goal defender Latanya Wilson problems as SA finally outscored Jamaica by five points in the quarter.  

But it proved too little too late for SA as the damage was already done during the earlier stages of the match and Jamaica won by a comfortable 18 points.

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