South Africa kept their slim hopes of reaching the Netball World Cup 2023 semi-finals alive with a spirited performance against world champions New Zealand at a packed Cape Town International Convention Centre on Wednesday night.
The Proteas held the Silver Ferns to a 48-48 draw with the raucous local crowd effectively an extra member of the team. The draw in Pool G means there is still a chance for the tournament hosts to progress to the semi-finals. For this to happen, Jamaica would have to beat New Zealand on Thursday, while South Africa would have to do the same against Uganda. Goal percentage could prove problematic for the Proteas, however.
Young goal attack Nichole Taljaard earned her second Most Valuable Player Award of the tournament after her shot, with three seconds left in the match, that drew the scores level.
Taljaard had an outstanding match, occupying the space in the goal circle well with her ability to shoot from further away a distinct advantage. She also remained calm under the massive pressure of facing the reigning world champions.
— Netball South Africa (@Netball_SA) August 3, 2023
Meanwhile, South Africa coach Norma Plummer is expecting a tough battle from Uganda in their final preliminary stage match at the tournament.
“Uganda have been playing really well at this World Cup. They have a totally different style of play, different from what we had against New Zealand on Wednesday, and we have to work around that,” said the Australia-born coach.
“They have grown over the past few years and hopefully we can challenge them right to the end of the match.”
Australia vs England (9am)
Wales vs Trinidad & Tobago (9am)
Fiji vs Scotland (11am)
Jamaica vs New Zealand (11am)
South Africa vs Uganda (4pm)
Tonga vs Malawi (6pm)
Written by: Ntsako Mukhari