Proteas coach Norma Plummer was pleased her team got the job done with a 61-50 victory over Wales in their Netball World Cup opener, but believes there is still plenty of work to be done.
It was an emotional opening game for the Proteas with Player of the Match Ine-Marie Venter shedding a tear during the national anthems.
But with rapturous support cheering on the Proteas’ every move on court, the home team quickly settled into their work and roared into an 18-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
“But we knew Wales would change up their game, and they did. They set up the press in the middle, which meant we had to slow up the game. I thought we handled it quite well in the second quarter.
“I thought they went up a notch in the third, and then we started to spray a few balls, and that was disappointing. We went too wide. What do we get out of that? We know we have a lot to work on. We will need to get some work on that.”
The former England World Cup-winning coach believed the dip in performance through the middle period was due to her players adjusting to being together again.
She believes that with some more gametime the rustiness will work itself out.
“I only had the players that came back from overseas from the 15th July, so we really needed to work on getting connections before we could even think tactically about other things,” Plummer said.
“Overall, I am very proud and pleased. Not a bad performance. It was a cracking game!”
The Proteas go again on Saturday against Asian minnows Sri Lanka at 4pm. The Sri Lankans lost heavily 25-105 to Jamaica in their Round 1 Pool C match.
Wales, however, never let the Proteas out of their sight and actually won the second quarter 15-14 before the home team regained their composure to close out the match in the remaining two halves.
“Our first quarter was absolutely sensational. We got off a great start. We have been a bit slow in that area,” Plummer said.