SA University side off to a Winning start
By NSA Administrator
Posted on 03 July 2012
SA beat Ireland 57-47 in opening match of World University Netball Championships
SA UNIVERSITY SIDE OFF TO WINNING START
BY ADMINIstrator JULY 3, 2012
Cape Town, South Africa - South Africa’s university netball side beat Ireland 57-47 in the opening match of the inaugural World University Netball Championship at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town on Monday.
Led by goal attack Maryka Holtzhausen, the hosts took an early lead and were 4-0 up before the Irish women found their rhythm. Ireland then matched their opponents goal-for-goal, but the early lead held South Africa in good stead, as they ended the first quarter 16-12.
A couple of costly turnovers proved to be the undoing of the Irish in the second quarter, allowing the hosts to increase their lead to 34-26 at half-time.
Both teams juggled their players at the start of the third quarter and Protea Vanes-Mari du Toit, lacking game time after her recent recovery from a knee injury, was forced to make way for Zanele Vimbela as goal keeper. Vimbela proved up to the task and the South Africans extended their lead, going into the last quarter with a nine goal lead at 46-37.
The final quarter proved a scrappy affair for both sides, turning over ball, but not capitalising on their opponents’ mistakes. Coach Dorette Badenhorst said the South Africans struggled in defence and nerves got the better of her team. “It’s always nice to start with a win and it’s broken the ice and calmed a few nerves,” she said. “Now we need to build up a bit more confidence and play our own game. We didn’t stick to our game plan, which was disappointing, and we reacted to their style of play. We need to go back to the drawing board and look at the mistakes we made.”
Badenhorst said most members of her team had not played competitive netball this year, apart from the three Proteas in the side, and it was difficult to build confidence in the team. “With every game we play, we will become a closer team and play more as a unit,” she said. “There are a lot of things we can take out of this game and use them to prepare for the next game.” Having got their hardest group match under their belts, Badenhorst said they would not be taking their two other group games lightly. “As a coach, no game is an easy game and we will respect our opponents — Zimbabwe and the US,” she said. “We want the players to get more game time together but, at the same time, I will be working on the right combinations. “Yes, I will play everyone, but I will stay with my different partnerships and build confidence in those combinations.”
Irish captain Oonagh McCullough, who switched between the goal shooter and goal attack positions, had an outstanding game but was disappointed overall with her team’s loss. “I’m happy with the fight the girls gave, but it was not quite good enough today,” she said. “We’re still fighting off the jet lag and the better team definitely won on the day. “We’re disappointed we didn’t get the win because I think we could take them, but we’ll build on that and take the positives and hopefully win our next game.”
South Africa’s next game is against Zimbabwe, at 10am on Tuesday.- Sapa, Jenny Bernstein
Scores Day 1:
South Africa beat Ireland 57 – 47
Great Britain beat Jamaica 46 – 44
Zimbabwe beat USA 35 – 34
Uganda beat Namibia 44 – 42