The Proteas continued their winning ways at the Netball World Cup on Saturday as they defeated Fiji 90-35 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
The pair had only met once previously at a World Cup, back in 1999, with South Africa winning that game 57-49.
The match began at rapid speed, with the raucous Fiji supporters making plenty of noise in the stands. They could do nothing, however, to prevent South Africa from storming into a 12-2 lead less than six minutes into the contest.
Lenize Potgieter and Renske Stoltz were ruthless in front of the net, while centre Izette Griesel, who celebrated her birthday yesterday, turning 27 on the same day as her country opened their World Cup campaign with a victory, dominated proceedings from the middle third of the court.
Wing attack Bongiwe Msomi, who started the match to earn her 100th South Africa cap, was also getting the better of her direct opponent, Fiji wing defence Ema Mualuvu.
South Africa continued to press forward in search of more goals and were leading comfortably after the first segment of the match. By the end of the first quarter, the Proteas were leading by 15 goals, 24-9.
As the second period began, South Africa were able to press on further, safe in the knowledge that they had built up a substantial lead early on in the game.
With Fiji’s passing lacking slickness, South Africa were able to pick off loose balls with ease, capitalising on even small errors of judgement on several occasions and counter-attacking to excellent effect.
Potgieter took her attempts record to 33 goals from 34 shots in the game at the halfway mark, as South Africa cruised in for half-time with a 28-goal advantage.
Goal shooter Sigrid Burger, 23, replaced Potgieter at half-time, and she immediately made her mark of the match with three quick-fire goals in the space of 90 seconds.
Before the third quarter was up, Burger had added a further 10 goals to her tally, with goal attack Stoltz also chipping in with seven.
At the end of the penultimate quarter, South Africa’s lead had been stretched to 42 goals, with the score standing at 67-25.
With the result all but wrapped up, Maryka Holtzhausen replaced Stoltz as goal shooter for the final 15 minutes.
She scored six times as South Africa comfortably strolled over the line to the a resounding 90-35 win.
South Africa will be hoping to maintain their 100% record when they face Jamaica, who have also won both of their matches so far, tomorrow The winner of that game will finish top of Group C.
Having lost by 56 goals in their first game and now by 55 here, Fiji were once again well beaten, although their fans inside the M&S Bank Arena maintained their vocal support. They will play Trinidad and Tobago as the Preliminaries Stage One conclude.
Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images