The SPAR Proteas defeated Zimbabwe 70-35 in their opening match in the Diamond Challenge netball tournament at the University of Durban Westville on Sunday.
Despite a spirited effort by Zimbabwe, the Proteas were in control throughout the game. They were 20-7 ahead after the first quarter and led 37-20 at halftime.
Zimbabwe had their best result in the third quarter, which South Africa won by only three goals, but their lack of international experience was obvious.
The South Africa defenders were outstanding, with player of the match Phumza Maweni and Karla Mostert making life hard for the Zimbabweans in their circle.
Coach Norma Plummer rang the changes, using all members of the squad, apart from Vanes-Mari du Toit, who had a slight injury.
She tried a number of combinations and used some players out of their usual positions.
One of these was goalshooter Lenize Potgieter, who played goal attack in the last quarter, and seemed to relish the greater freedom she had.
“I have told them they all need to be able to play in at least two positions, so that we have greater flexibility,” said Plummer.
She said she was happy with the Proteas’ performance, although there were still areas where they needed to improve.
“They still need to let the ball go quicker and they missed some sitters, but they are getting better all the time,” she said.
Earlier, the President’s XII beat Uganda 55-50.
Today the Proteas play Uganda at 6pm and the President’s XII take on Zimbabwe at 8pm.