Despite a narrow defeat by South Africa, Wales gave the
opposition a very tough game, losing by only fourteen goals.
Wales took the lead for most of the first half of the game
with a competitive and confident start. However, the hosts fought back
and finished the series with a third win.
Wales gave a composed and strong performance throughout the
game and are proud of what they’ve achieved, during this tour according to Head
Coach Trish Wilcox.
“I am extremely proud of the progress we have made
throughout this three test series”, says Wilcox.
“We took all our learning from the first two tests into the
final game. The team stuck to the game
plan for the first half, which saw us going into the second half with nothing
separating the two teams.
“We knew South Africa would come out strong. However, we continued to stay with them
heading into the final Quarter.
Disappointingly, some basic errors crept into our game which extended
South Africa’s lead.
“I don’t think the score refracted from how competitive this
final test was.”
Though the SPAR Proteas remain undefeated by Wales, Captain
Suzy Drane says the team are very happy with how they’ve performed throughout
the test series.
“We’re pleased that we have progressed with each test,” says
Drane, who recently received her 75th cap for Wales.
“We’ve learned lessons and applied our learnings on court
and still have more to give.
“Being the first Wales team to compete here in Durban, South
Africa has been invaluable experience, and has confirmed that Wales can compete
with the top teams in the world.”
Over a 100 goals were scored in the final test. Wales’
shooting had been consistently high throughout all matches, and excelling that
of South Africa’s during two of the three tests. Shooting star Chelsea
Lewis, who has over 50 caps for Wales, won Shooter of the Series.
Chelsea, Georgia Rowe and Sara Bell shot some wonderful goals, with strong
support from their team mates.
Twenty-four year old Clare Jones received her first Welsh
cap today. Jones took the court for the last quarter of the test as Wing
“It was truly a unique honour and privilege to not only
wear my country’s dress but to be able to take the court with the girls who
have all trained so incredibly hard.” said Jones, who works as a Mental Health
Strategy Officer in Swansea.
Wales under 21 experienced another tough game against the
Baby Proteas this morning, with a final score of 88-21 to South Africa U21.
The young netballers have taken full advantage of the
opportunity to play against one of the best teams in the world, in order to prepare
for their upcoming Netball Europe tournament in October this year.
The Netball Europe event will be held in Cardiff, and will
be a qualifying tournament for the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana, 2017.
“South Africa was a great learning opportunity and we will
take these lessons forward to help the squad’s preparations for Netball Europe
U21s in October,” said Head Coach Louisa Daniell.
Congratulations to six Welsh players who have received their
first Wales under 21 caps this weekend, at the South Africa test series.
Anna Brindley, Carys Allen, Lowri Jenkins, Lowri Norkett,
Celyn Emanuel and Emma Roberts have all taken to the court to play Netball
South Africa’s U21 team – the Baby Porteas.
Photo credit: Reg Caldecott