PORT ELIZABETH – The Proteas netball team beat Trinidad and Tobago 47-30 in a rough and tumble Tri-Nations opener at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Indoor Sport Centre in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
The hosts struggled to get into a rhythm, which could be attributed to the Caribbean team’s physical style of play.
However, the Proteas were able to find some good spaces between the Trinidad and Tobago team, who preferred to play a more static and direct game.
South Africa’s defence were on top form, as the combination of Karla Mostert and Adele Niemand created a number of opportunities from interceptions.
The Proteas led 11-7 at the end of the first quarter, and play picked up speed in the second quarter.
Goalkeeper Chrisna Bootha had to leave the court due to injury after she made contact with her opposite number Alicia Liverpool, and was replaced by Melissa Myburgh.
South Africa opened the gap through consecutive goals before Myburgh was stretchered off.
Lindie Lombard took up the role of shooter, while Bongiwe Msomi moved to wing attack and Simnikiwe Mdaka returned as centre.
The teams went into the half-time break with South Africa enjoying a 25-15 lead.
Lombard held her own in the goal circle, which earned her the player-of-the-match accolade.
Relying on the support of goal attack Maryka Holtzhausen, South Africa’s attack combinations grew in confidence.
The second half gained intensity as the match progressed.
Trinidad and Tobago made unforced errors when they attempted to pick up the pace.
Proteas’ coach Elize Kotze commended Myburgh for stepping to the plate when the team needed her.
“Losing both our shooters so early in the game threw us off,” Kotze said.
“I am a bit worried about our intensity, but we have seen which combinations will work for us and that has been very helpful.”
South Africa and England will lock horns in the second match of the series on Wednesday.
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Article source: http://www.enca.com/sport/proteas-open-series-victory