South Africa avenged their 2022 Commonwealth Games loss to Uganda – piping the She Cranes 52-50 in a Pool G Netball World Cup 2023 match played at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Thursday.
The result ended the Proteas’ hopes of progressing into the semis – for they needed unlikely win with a margin of more than 64 goals and keep their opponents from scoring more than 20 to make that happen.
But Uganda struggled with short passes around their own goal circle and star shooter, Mary Nuba, found it rough against South Africa’s Phumza Maweni. The Protea defender had Nuba properly boxed in with little room to stamp her authority.
South Africa’s goal attack Ine-Mari Venter had a better start on the day compared to Wednesday’s match against New Zealand.
Protea’s swift ball movement across the court troubled Uganda, preventing them from executing their attacking style effectively. During the second quarter, South Africa extended their lead to 10 goals, with Maweni continuing to disrupt Nuba.
Uganda made their first substitutions 10 minutes before halftime, but that didn’t have any effect as the South Africans went into the break 33-19 in front.
But Uganda entirely dominated the third quarter – outscoring South Africa by nine goals (17-8), finding their rhythm and quickly narrowing the gap.
In the final quarter, Uganda came out onto the court with clear intentions on snatching the victory away from the hosts. And they almost did. Having been 12 goals down at one point, they managed to equalise the score at 42-all within four minutes.
The match became physical at times, something Uganda coach Fred Mugerwa attributed to miscalculations.
A crucial intercept under the Uganda goal post by goal defence Nicola Smith turned the ball back to the South African goal circle and the Proteas managed to secure a 52-50 win.
“It was a bit physical and that’s why we were trailing by 14 goals at halftime. When we went to the dressing room I told the girls to be a bit harder and not lose hope, we have to fight for the country. And we recovered; it is unfortunate that we couldn’t take it,” Mugerwa said after the final whistle.
Nevertheless, Uganda’s Shadia Nassanga scooped the Most Valuable Player accolade on the day. She Cranes play Malawi in a classification game this Friday.
South Africa 52 – 50 Uganda
Tonga 51 – 56 Malawi
Australia 55-56 England
Jamaica 59 – 48 New Zealand
Friday, August 4, 2023
Singapore v Sri Lanka @10am
Zimbabwe v Barbados@Midday
Malawi v Uganda@5pm
South Africa v Tonga@7p