Cape Town- Norma Plummer, the Proteas Netball
coach, said that winning against New Zealand was never the priority.
experience about playing the world No 2-ranked Silver Ferns was far more
important on the eve of the World Cup to be played in Sydney next month.
Experimentation was again the focus as the
Proteas, like the Silver Ferns, used their final hit out before the World Cup to
further assess various combinations during the second of two Tests played at
the Trusts Arena in Auckland on Tuesday.
Just 10 days out from South Africa’s
opening World Cup match against Malawi in Sydney, South Africa struggled
against a dominating Silver Ferns outfit that gave their full 12-strong squad a
run and convincingly beat Plummer's Proteas 67-28 for the second time in
In the final quarter the Proteas were
only able to score four goals which was of concern to Plummer.
“I’m a little
concerned about the fitness of my team. We have time to work on that and make
sure that all the girls are in shape come Sydney.”
Plummer said that despite the scoreline
she needed to expose the players and work the combinations against New Zealand.
“After just three weeks of working with the girls I have learnt their likes and
dislikes and told the Proteas going into tonight’s Test they had nothing to
Plummer admitted that she and her charges learnt more from today’s Test
compared to last Sunday's Test in Hamilton.
“We had a decent first half tonight
but lacked the consistency which we will need to work on. The talent is there
it just now needs to stand up.”
The Silver Ferns were a different outfit on
Tuesday compared to Sunday where the Proteas had them worried especially in the
second quarter where the scores were level.
On Sunday Lenize Potgieter the star Under-21 South African shooter was on song and so much so that the Silver Ferns
coach, Waimarama Taumaunu labeled Potgieter as “the secret weapon the in South
But on Tuesday the Silver Ferns were
prepared for Potgieter who had in the first Test beaten the world’s top
defender Casey Kopua.
Potgieter's sparkling performance in the first Test forced
the Silver Ferns to double team Potgieter to deny Potgieter
access to the ball. Plummer acknowledged the talent and strength of Potgieter
to her side but said that South Africa could not rely only on Potgieter and had
to make sure all the rest of the team rose to the
New Zealand also put on a midcourt press
using five defenders in the middle third which took away from the South African
attacking space. But unfortunately the Proteas did not have the experience of
being defended in that manner in a zone defence style despite getting through
Plummer believes the determination is in
the Proteas side but her girls are lacking the knowledge of how to compete in
that type of zone.
“We will get there. I reiterate I wish I could have worked
longer with the Proteas but haven’t had the luxury of doing so but my
coaching staff and I will put in every effort over the next few days to install
as much knowledge into the team so that they can improve to another level or
Despite her side inflicting the heavy
defeat on the Proteas, Taumaunu gave full praise to her opposition.
Africa have made a significant improvement since we last played them in 2012.
Their ball retention has vastly improved and they have a talented team
especially the goal shooter Lenize Potgieter. South Africa will be a force to
reckon with in Sydney.”
The Proteas will now remain in
Auckland for an intensive training camp until the depart for Sydney on Monday,