27/02/2024

Star SPAR Protea Lenize Potgieter helped her team to a draw against the England Roses (Picture: South Africa Netball/Twitter)

On Day Two, South Africa and England both took home points with a spectacular game that ended in a draw, while an all-round enthralling contest between Australia and New Zealand saw the Diamonds qualify for the final with a win.

First up, it was the SPAR Proteas and England Roses that played the first game which was a game of defensive moments and crucial plays in clutch moments, including a key intercept from Karla Pretorius and a goal by Lenize Potgieter to level scores, 46 all.

In the second game of the day, the Australian Diamonds overcame a slow start after trailing by eight goals, to come from behind to seal victory, 59-57.

It was the Diamonds goalers, Steph Wood and Cara Koenen who shot at a high volume who made the difference, along with the defensive end in Courtney Bruce and Sarah Klau stepping up. Experienced mid-courters Kate Moloney and Liz Watson provided the punch that helped seal victory for the Australians, 59-57.

The Inner Sanctum look at the Takeaways from Day Two of the 2023 Netball Quad Series.

Roses stars stand out

In a game that had moments of standouts, the England Roses had a number of players that had good individual games.

With the tight defensive pressure South African defenders Phumza Maweni and Karla Pretorius applied in the Roses shooting circle, Roses shooters Helen Housby and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis showed their composure in the circle.

In the Roses’ defence end, Funmi Fadoju and Geva Mentor teamed up well in the defensive end, winning ball back throughout the game. They made it a battle in the first half, pulling down rebounds at any given opportunities they could.

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Norma Plummer rings in changes in third quarter bringing a momentum shift for the SPAR Proteas

Coaching 150 games as head coach for the Proteas, Norma Plummer rang the changes at half time, bringing on Khanyisa Chawane in at wing attack and Monique Reyneke-Meyer at wing defence.

South Africa found another gear from Reyneke-Meyer, who injected energy off the bench, changing up the Roseโ€™s attacking movements and plays by using her ability and vision of feeding long balls into South Africaโ€™s shooting circle.

Chawene also provided those cuts and drives, giving another dimension to the SPAR Proteas attack end. She did well in connecting the mid-court to the attacking end, feeding the ball well, while using her versatility and putting her body on the line.

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Captain Bongiwe Msomi lead the way

Playing the game in all mid-court positions, Bongiwe Msomi was a key player in the midcourt for the Proteas. Controlling the attack end, Msomi also applied that tight defensive pressure, not allowing the likes of Imogen Allison, Laura Malcolm or Elle McDonald any easy possession.

Finishing the game as the ‘Player of the Match’, Msomi will be a force for the rest of the Quad Series with the way she sets the tone and gives her desperation and body to win ball back.

Diamonds synergy clicks from second quarter onwards

After a slow start to the match, trailing as much as eight goals in the early stages, the key combinations stepped up to help Australia get back into the match against New Zealand.

The shooting combination of Cara Koenen and Steph Wood grew more, after a shaky start finding it difficult with the pressure Silver Ferns duo Kelly Jury and Jane Watson applied.

The Diamondโ€™s defensive end in Sarah Klau and Courtney Bruce were able to win ball back in the third quarter, resulting in the Diamonds to control the game, they appeared more settled and were able to control the tempo on their terms.

Liz Watson and Kate Moloney were key players as they usually are for the Diamonds, finding the transition down the court quickly and placing better ball into the shooting end.

Silver Ferns challenged

Whilst the Silver Ferns will be disappointed with the opportunities that slipped away, they will be happy with being able to build the pressure on the Diamonds which resulted in that easy transition down the court to the circle.

Jane Watson and Karin Burger had their first start back in the line-up, coming back from injury and pregnancy respectively.

Whilst Kate Heffernan started in centre, winning plenty of ball back and finding good vision in attack, Peta Toeava connected well with Grace Nweke, which gave the Diamonds defence something to think about. Claire Kersten started in her first International outing, taking an important role in battling with Liz Watson.

The Quad Series returns to action on Wednesday morning (Australian time), where the Australian Diamonds will play the South African SPAR Proteas and will look to build from their draw, whilst the New Zealand Silver Ferns face the England Roses.

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