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Netball World Cup 2019: Proteas focused on Uganda

Proteas skipper Bongi Msomi says that her team are completely focused on their next Netball World Cup game against Uganda.

After South Africa beat world number two side Jamaica in the first group stage most of the chat around the Netball World Cup has been about the meeting with hosts England on Thursday. However, the Proteas face a tricky assignment against Uganda on Wednesday, after beating Scotland on Monday and the captain is keen to ensure her charges remain focused on the task at hand.

As things stand South Africa and England are in the semi-final positions with both sides still unbeaten in the tournament to date. The Proteas carry through their first group stage wins against Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and have since added victory over Scotland. A win over Uganda would virtually guarantee a semi-final spot but the match against England is likely to determine whether the Proteas face defending champions Australia or New Zealand in the final four.

South Africa might be forgiven for looking past Uganda to their match against Tracey Neville’s Roses on Thursday but Msomi wants her team to keep their feet firmly on the ground.

Speaking after the 66-38 win over Scotland Msomi said: “We have Uganda next, and they’re not just another side – they’re a quality side and we’ll have a big game against them, so we are focusing on that. Whatever happens elsewhere in the group, we have to perform to benefit ourselves.

“We have to switch on if we want to work through the tournament – we have so much respect for all the teams here. It’s game-by-game and we have to be switched on still, because we can’t take anyone for granted – that’s why this tournament is huge this year.”

528d87e9 bongi msomi - Netball World Cup 2019: Proteas focused on Uganda
Bongi Msomi, captain of the SPAR Proteas and Claire Maxwell of Scotland shake hands after the coin toss during the Vitality Netball World Cup match between South Africa and Scotland at M&S Bank Arena on July 15, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

African sides thrill at Netball World Cup

The African sides have punched above their weight in this World Cup with Zimbabwe, Malawi and Uganda all progressing from the initial group phase. The Proteas performances have established them as the tournament’s dark horses. They are not a side that any of the title contenders will be at ease facing. The Proteas sport players from netball’s major professional leagues and are coached by one of the best mentor’s in the game in Norma Plummer.

Captain Msomi is keen to see the team carry on the Netball World Cup the way they have started it and achieve their pre-tournament goal of earning a medal.

“It’s been amazing – it’s been a good journey for us. We came up with the win yesterday against Jamaica and that was amazing for us. We couldn’t have asked for a better win to give us some confidence going forward.

“Today, against Scotland, everyone did really well and we played well. We came here with 12 players to come on court whenever we need to, and it’s the coach’s strategy to work things out and save legs where we can. We know we’ve got great players to step on court and perform and I think we did that really well.”

South Africa face Uganda on Wednesday and England on Thursday. The main draw semi-finals take place on Saturday while the Netball World Cup final will be contested on Sunday.

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