Proteas go down fighting in Fast5 Netball series - TeamSA
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Proteas go down fighting in Fast5 Netball series

Proteas

The Proteas might ‘only’ have finished sixth in the Fast5 Netball Series, but there were plenty of positives along the way, with a win against England and running eventual champions New Zealand close in their home tournament.

The Proteas won their first match against England but their opponents had the final say on Sunday in the fifth and sixth place playoff, to win a nail-biting match 35-33.

Although England had a slight lead in the beginning, the Proteas kept a strong presence and stayed in the game with the score 14-11 after the first half.

The Proteas’ power play quarter started slowly with plenty of missed opportunities, giving England a chance to close the margin in the fourth term. The defending champions came out firing in the fourth quarter, refusing to let their 2018 World Series end in last place.

England’s George Fisher hit a three-point shot, doubled because of their power play quarter, to bring England back within three points of the proteas. It was a battle between the star shooters for both sides in the final term with the Proteas’ Renske Stoltz and England’s Fisher converting from all areas in the goal circle.

‘I think we had good games on Saturday and on Sunday we had our best one in the first match of the day and the one against Australia I think was obviously our worst. So yeah, I think we gelled as a team and we got along really well,’ said Stoltz.

A final missed attempt from Stoltz sealed the game for England, earning them fifth spot in this year’s series.

After the match Stoltz said, ‘I think we learned a lot, we’re a young team and we will come back stronger. With regards to the movement in the circle, we struggled to get the ball on attack through to our goal circle, so that will be something we want to work on.’

In previous games, the Proteas faced Jamaica in their opening match and were defeated 47-27. In a tense battle, New Zealand beat the Proteas 39-36. The Proteas then took their first Fast5 win against England with a 28-25 score on Saturday.

On Sunday, after a stunning defensive effort, SA lost 32-33 against their continental rivals Malawi, and they lost 20-50 against Australia.

Final Results
1. New Zealand
2. Jamaica
3. Australia
4. Malawi
5. England
6. South Africa

Photo: Proteas’ Sigrid Burger and Jodie Gibson of England compete for the ball during the Fast5 Netball World Series Playoff for fifth and sixth place supplied by Getty Images/Mike Owen & Fast5 World Series


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