SA netball team go down

2011-10-23 12:59

Johannesburg - Malawi beat the South African women's netball team 61-37 in their international match played in Perth, Australia, on Sunday.

After defeating Malawi at the World Netball Championships in July, the Proteas walked onto the court confident of defeating their African nemesis again, but fell short to a spirited display from the Queens.

Malawi was quick to take a 6-2 lead by the 11th minute mark, ending the first quarter 15-8 ahead.

The Proteas made a number of changes to the team for the second quarter, replacing wing Thuli Qegu with Zanele Mdodana, and changing the defence and attack to give Anja Opperman and Zukelwa Cwaba some court time.

It did not make a difference, even though the Proteas showed more vigour in the third quarter, scoring 13 goals to Malawi's 15.

The Queens went on to take a 32-16 half-time lead.

"We knew that Malawi was running away with us" said Mdodana after the match.

"It seemed surreal, we knew we needed to pick it up, but just couldn't get it right."

"We need to take a serious look at player commitment" said Proteas coach Elize Kotze.

"A positive aspect of this match was that it enabled team management to see who would, and who wouldn't make it as an international player. We are not going to carry players anymore."

The Proteas will return to South Africa on Wednesday. Their next international commitments are in England in November.