Johannesburg - The Proteas achieved their best ever result against Australia in their
SANZEA Quad Series match at the Copper Bowl in London on Saturday.
The Australian Diamonds won the encounter 54-50, for their smallest
winning margin over South Africa and the Proteas, who were 26-25 ahead at
halftime, forced them to step up a gear in the final minutes to clinch the
Australia won the first quarter 15-12, but the Proteas never let the
Diamonds get away from them, with the goal difference never more than four
With two minutes left in the second quarter, goalshooter Lenize
Potgieter scored to bring the Proteas level on 24-all. The two teams exchanged
goals, and then, with 20 seconds left in the first half, Potgieter scored again
and the Proteas were 26-25 ahead at half time. They won the second
quarter by 14 goals to 10.
The Diamonds brought on two new shooters in the third quarter, with Caitlin
Bassett and Susan Pettitt replacing Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett, and
they gradually drew back into the lead. They were 38-36 ahead at the end
of the third quarter.
In the final quarter, Australia stepped up a gear as they fought to
retain their dominance over the Proteas. But the South Africans were not
giving up and threw everything they had into the match.
the quarter, they once again drew level with the world champions on
45-all. The Australians fought hard and in the final five minutes of the
match, began to pull away from the Proteas, with a succession of five
Potgieter and goal attack Maryke Holtzhausen came back
with their own flurry of goals, before Bassett and Pettitt scored three in
succession. With 15 seconds to go, Holtzhausen scored to limit the goal
difference to four.
Goalkeeper Phumza Maweni had an outstanding game, with a number of
intercepts, while wing attack Bongi Msomi appeared to be everywhere on the
Her performance earned the South African captain the player of the
"I am so proud of the team," said skipper Msomi.
"Every time we step on the court against the top teams, we reduce their
winning margins. I am also very proud that we played at the same
intensity for the full hour. We are growing with every match, and we
believe we can beat the very best," she said.
"It was such a great team performance that I would like to divide this
medal, so that we can all share it."
Proteas coach Norma Plummer was delighted with the team's performance,
particularly as they had not played any internationals since the last Quad
Series tournaments in New Zealand and Australia, while the two top teams had
both played a number of Tests.
"We used to lose by 50 goals," she said.
"The top teams need to look out - South Africa is right up there with
The Proteas take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns at the Ellis Park
Indoor Arena at 7 o'clock next Thursday evening.
They play the England
Roses at the same venue at 14:30 on Sunday. Tickets are available from