Proteas assistant coach Dumisani Chauke expressed concern over losing record-breaking goal shooter Lenize Potgieter, stating it’s “a big blow” to the team’s Netball World Cup chances. Potgieter’s absence has forced the team to explore other options, including introducing Sesandile Owethu-Ngubane, who replaced Potgieter in the squad. Despite the challenge, the Proteas secured a hard-fought 69-28 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in their first Stage 2 match, according to DFA.
The team has been experimenting with different combinations upfront in Potgieter’s absence. Ina-Marie Venter and young Nichole Taljaard started in the first half. Still, Venter’s rare off day against Trinidad raised concerns about her confidence ahead of the crucial Stage 2 clash against New Zealand. The Proteas’ upcoming match against New Zealand is pivotal, as it could ultimately determine their Netball World Cup fate.
Chauke acknowledged Potgieter’s significant contribution to the team and stressed that her loss is substantial. However, he is also confident in the team’s ability to carry on. He highlighted that there are capable players who can step up.
Meanwhile, New Zealand faced a severe injury blow when their sharp-shooter, Grace Nweke, was ruled out of the rest of the tournament due to a knee injury. Despite her absence, the Silver Ferns demonstrated their prowess, commanding an 83-34 victory over Wales in the earlier Pool F clash.
In other matches, Jamaica maintained their 100% record at the Netball World Cup with a 61-49 win against Uganda. New Zealand and Jamaica currently top Pool F with six points each. South Africa holds the third position with four points. The top two teams from the pool will qualify for the semi-finals.
Picture: Twitter / Netball_SA
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