Match day two saw the SPAR Proteas take on Sri Lanka who are ranked 15th in the world. This was the fourth overall meeting between the two countries and their third at a World Cup.
South Africa have never lost a match against Sri Lanka and Coach Norma Plummer was not to break her team’s record. A few key players like Karla Pretorius, Ine Mari Venter, Khanyisa Chawane, Phumza Maweni and Lenize Potgieter were given a rest, and this opened the window for Nichole Taljaard and Elmere to be paired upfront, Jeante Strydom and Nicola Smith in defence.
It was the SPAR Proteas who started like a house on fire and applying pressure on Sri Lanka right from the beginning. South Africa made sure to end the quarter on a high winning 24 – 9 with both van der Berg and Taljaard averaging 88.9%.
The second quarter was no different as South Africa continued piling more pressure on Sri Lanka and went into half time leading 45 – 18 after winning that quarter 21 – 9.
In the third quarter, Coach Plummer introduced Khanyisa Chawane at Centre and Karla Pretorius at Wing Defence. Pretorius became a new member of the Centurion Club as she earned her 100th cap for the SPAR Proteas. She is the 5th player after captain Bongiwe Msomi, Phumza Maweni, Erin Burger and Maryka Holtzhausen.
South Africa’s defence team restricted Sri Lanka to only scoring six goals in the third quarter and they continued with the onslaught as they scored 23 goals to end the championship quarter 68 – 24.
In the last quarter, the introduction of Ine Marie Venter saw her achieve another milestone – she earned her 50th international cap for South Africa.
Speaking at the post-match press conference, SPAR Proteas Head Coach said “I am pleased with performance of the players tonight – this will do a lot of good for our confidence heading into the Jamaica game. I also think Elmere (van der Berg) showed up today when called upon. We will not go back and prepare well for that game – it will be a different ball game considering that seven of their players are plying their trade in Australia”.
South Africa made it four wins out of four by clinching the game 84 -32 and today’s match seems to have laced with some magic for the SPAR Proteas because Jeante Strydom who was playing her second match for the country also earned herself player of the match accolade.
“This is the best feeling in the whole world, I am sitting here with legends of the game who are in their hundreds and me on my second cap get to win player of the match, couldn’t have asked for a better start – I am truly blessed to be here at this moment,” said Jeante Strydom.
“This is a great feeling for me to get my 100th cap here at home in front of home crowd, my husband and daughter. There are many milestones to look back to, but I believe that this really tops the cake,”- Karla Pretorius on the 100th cap.