Young Proteas face medal challenge | SASCOC - SASCOC

Young Proteas face medal challenge

By Gareth Duncan in Lusaka, Zambia

The South African netball team’s fate at the Zone VI Games will be determined after the last round of fixtures.

The netball ladies are in line for a medal at the U20 tournament in Zambia. However, the colour of their prize will be determined according to the result in their final round robin game against Botswana and the score in the clash between Malawi and Namibia. Both matches will be played on Thursday.

South Africa currently sit on top of the log. Although they have the same amount of log points as gold medal-favourites Malawi, they hold top spot thanks to a better goal average (goals scored divided by goals conceded). The two teams drew 29-29 in the first round.

South Africa will need to beat Botswana (who are one of the top performing nations in Lusaka) and hope Namibia can keep Malawi to a respectable scoreline. South Africa beat Namibia 55-27 earlier in the tournament.

‘Our main focus is obviously on Botswana, who’ll be a good test for us,’ team manager Alta du Preez told ‘If we lose to them, then we can only hope for bronze.

‘But our hopes for gold will also rest on the Malawi-Namibia game. It doesn’t look good because Namibia doesn’t have anything to play for. But let’s hope for the best.’

South Africa have done very well at the Zone VI Games as they have achieved a four-match unbeaten streak.

After the stalemate against Malawi, they recorded impressive victories over Namibia, Lesotho (103-4) and Zambia (55-29).

Attacking players Danelle Willemse and Melandi Pretorius have been a threat up front, while central playmaker Lou-Mare Geldenhuys has provided top-class support.