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05 July 2012 | in Netball, World University Championships

Host sails into WUC Netball Semi-Finals

South Africa’s Wing Defence Marle Geel seems impassive to Namibia’s Delila Keja’s defence in the first quarterfinal match of the day on Thursday

CAPETOWN - South Africa defeated Namibia 67-26 in the first of the quarterfinal matches at the World University Netball Championship in Cape Town on Thursday. Namibia started well and looked like they would pose more of a challenge to the South African team, who had breezed past Zimbabwe and the United States in their last two games.

Matching each other goal for goal early on, at 3-3 the home side stepped up a gear and left their opponents in their wake, closing out the first quarter at 17-3. The SA students proved too strong for Namibia and continued to increase their tally to 35-9 at the half-time break.

Both sides fought hard in the final two quarters, but South Africa suffered a setback when their centre, Bongi Msomi, hobbled off the court in the third quarter. With their reserve centre also injured, it was up to Marie Geel to step into the pivotal role, which she did admirably. “Bongi’s injury is not serious, she just took a hard knock to her thigh, but she’s fine to play in the next game,” coach Dorette Badenhorst said afterwards. “Namibia are always a strong team and we knew we would have a challenge on our hands. “In the end, it wasn’t as challenging as I thought it would be but we still needed to push the players and I thought we played brilliantly. “I managed to give all the girls a chance, but I still feel if something isn’t going well on court, we still struggle to adapt quickly enough. “We struggled in the circle and I thought we needed to adapt a little bit better, but I thought it was a great game.”

Namibia’s centre player Menethe Muvangua leaps to defend the ball thrown by SA’s Bongi Msomi in their quarterfinal match on Thursday

Namibian coach Manuel Tjivera was happy with the way his players faced their formidable opposition and described the match as “a cracker". “I am quite pleased with today’s game and it all went according to plan,” Tjivera said. “We are using this tournament to finalise our preparations for the CUCSA [Confederation of University and College Sports Associations] Games so it worked out well. ”I tried out more defensive combinations to evaluate the strength of the girls and we managed to penetrate South Africa’s defence. “At times they had to force some balls so it really worked well for us.”

South Africa meet Jamaica in the semi-finals on Friday and Badenhorst admitted they were not used to the Jamaican side's style of play. “Jamaica is a very physical team and we will really work hard to go full out from the beginning against them,” Badenhorst said. “We will go back today, analyse all their games and be prepared on court. “It will be a test of character as we’re not used to such a physical competition, so it is going to be a challenge to me as a coach as well.”

Jamaica thrashed Zimbabwe 87-15 and earned themselves a semi-final against South Africa on Friday. Badenhorst admitted the South Africans were not used to the Jamaican's style of play. “Jamaica is a very physical team and we will really work hard to go full out from the beginning against them,” Badenhorst said. “We will go back today, analyse all their games and be prepared on court. “It will be a test of character as we're not used to such a physical competition, so it is going to be a challenge to me as a coach as well.”

Captain and Vice-Captain battle it out as Uganda’s Goal Defence Irene Mirembe snatches the ball from Ireland’s Goal Attack Caroline O’Hanlon in their quarterfinal match on Thursday 5 July 2012

The most exciting match of the day, was the second quarter final that saw the delicate Irish take on the rough-styled Ugandans. The heavy-footed team started off in the lead in the first quarter, but Ireland managed to catch up and the rest of the match was almost goal for goal. Despite the fact that the Ugandan’s lost the game, their shooting average was higher with a total of 81% as opposed to Ireland’s 72% (something that has let them down in previous games, although Captain and Goal Shooter for Ireland had a great game). Ireland’s consistency reigned supreme in the end, as their combinations were evident against Uganda’s seemingly lack of strategy, and they took the match 45-43. This win places Ireland in the second semi-final tomorrow, against Great Britain. Ireland’s vice-captain Caroline O’Hanlon said that her team was looking forward to meeting their neighbours in the semi-final; “We relish the opportunity, they are a team that we are more familiar with than the other teams, but we know that they are very strong, so we’ll just  give it everything and hope for the best.”

Ireland came from behind to beat Uganda 45-43 and they meet Great Britain in the other semi-final on Friday.

Great Britain, along with South Africa, remained unbeaten in the tournament after they finished 82-14 in the last quarterfinal of the day.

 

RESULTS DAY 4

South Africa bt Namibia 67-26

Ireland bt Uganda 45-43

Jamaica bt Zimbabwe 87-15

Great Britain bt USA 82-14

 

Tomorrow's Games

Semi-finals will be played tomorrow as follows:

10h00: SA vs. Jamaica

14h00: Ireland vs. Great Britain

 

Playoffs will be played tomorrow as follows:

12h00: Namibia vs. Zimbabwe

16h00: Uganda vs. USA

 

For live streaming of the WUNC matches, please visit http://www.livestream.com/rugbyafricatv" href="http://www.livestream.com/rugbyafricatv">http://www.livestream.com/rugbyafricatv

 

(Source: Jenny Bernstein, Sapa - Picture credit: Barry Lamprecht / Image SA)

 

 

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