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South Africa netball team and officials at the Nadi International airport on September 4,2017. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
September 05
11:00 2017

Pearls in good hands, Vicki Wilson a smart cookie: Norma Plummer 

Ranked number five in the world, South Africa will not take the Fijian Pearls lightly in their Digicel/Punjas netball series starting at the Vodafone Arena in Suva tomorrow.

The ‘Spar Proteas’ arrived yesterday without their vice- captain Karla Mostert, who returned home for her wedding.

South African coach Norma Plummer said the Vicki Wilson-coached 7th ranked Fijian Pearls will be giving them a surprise.

“We know Vicky Wilson is at the helm, we are not going to take it lightly. She’s a smart cookie,” she said.

“We all played with her and against her so we need to make sure we are covering all our basics. We are sure she’s putting a lot of work into it so we are looking forward to a very good contest.”

The two teams are in the same pool in the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

“So for each team we are looking at each other’s steps and what we’ve got that we might come up. I actually don’t know too much off the depth. When I was national coach for Australia I would’ve known more but I haven’t seen Fiji much therefore we are looking forward to the challenge,” added Plummer who first set foot on Fiji for her honeymoon in 1973.

The Australian is hoping their performances at the SANZEA Quad Series have given them a good platform.

The side is still fresh from their 54-51 victory over the England in their final match of the series in Invercargill, New Zealand on Sunday.

Plummer said: “It was a delightful win. I’ve been with the team for two years and we’ve been building very strongly. Our objective is if we can go against the ranked teams underneath us.

“If we were to improve we have to put ourselves on the line and play the top three teams in the world and that has allowed them to grow and understand what shear pressure is before the quarters because their own competition in South Africa is down in standard compared to New Zealand and Australia.

“So therefore the intensity to get to work is never in like that full on pressure. But the way it has been is because it’s taken on this challenge we’ve dropped the scorelines. Australia and New Zealand used to beat South Africa between 35 and 55 goals. Not anymore.

“Australia won by six and New Zealand got us by seven. Those two games just set us up for the England game and we got over the line by three. We are pretty pleased with that and we have dedicated athletes.”

Captain Bongi Msomi said, “We are definitely prepared, and we had a grand time in the Quad Series and there has been a lot of improvement in the team.

South African captain Bongi Msomi at Nadi International Airport on September 4,2017.Photo: Wai sea Nasokia

South African captain Bongi Msomi at Nadi International Airport on September 4,2017.Photo: Wai sea Nasokia

“We haven’t played against Fiji in quite a long time so it’s interesting to see where we stand against them.”

The side boast top defenders in the likes of Phumza Maweni and Erin Burger, Bongiwe Msomi and New Zealand based Lenize Potgieter.

The South Africa – Fiji Pearls match kicks off at 6.30pm at the Vodafone Arena in Suva on Wednesday and again on Friday.

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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