Africa: SA Retain African Crown

South Africa won the Netball Africa Cup in Windhoek yesterday after completing an unbeaten campaign with a 65-39 victory against Namibia.

With Anna Kaspar giving Namibia an early lead, the home side matched South Africa to 4-4, but from then on the continent’s top-ranked nation started to stamp their authority on the game, as they steadily pulled away.

By the end of the first quarter, they were leading 15-10 and by half time had gone 32-16 ahead.

With Cornelia Mupenda having a fine game in midfield and Anna Kaspar and Nelandre Mostert accurate with their shooting, Namibia gave as good as they got, as they ended the third quarter with a 49-28 deficit, before South Africa sealed a comfortable 26-point victory.

That was their eighth successive win at the tournament, which saw them retaining the continental title that they last won in 2019, and their coach Dorette Badenhorst said it was a great team effort.

“Namibia are a great team; they are really improving every time, and it was a great game out there. But well done to my team, I really think they played well until the last minute and it was a great team effort,” she said.

“For us, it was two months of hard work and I think it paid off and we are doing this for our country and for God. It’s always greater than us and it’s very important that we go on court with the right attitude, because we represent a lot of supporters out there, there are people from all over the world watching and always supporting us. So, we are just grateful to play good netball for them,” she added.

Badenhorst said the conditions were tough.

“It’s always tough to play any Africa team and it was eight days of physically hard games and it was really not easy. It’s hot out there, so the circumstances were difficult, but I think that we kept it between the four lines. We played brilliant netball, we tried to focus on what we should do on court and not what’s going on around the court. So, it was a tough eight days, but I’m very proud of my team,” she said.

Namibian captain Eve Kamutushi said she was proud of her team.

“I’m proud of the girls and I think we gave them a helluva game. I mean, playing against the fifth-ranked team in the world, while we are ranked 24th, I think we did very well.

“We made a lot of unforced errors and unnecessary mistakes and we need to be more consistent in keeping the ball, otherwise we nearly had them at one point,” she added.

The result sees Namibia finishing fourth on the log on eight points, after they won four and lost four of their matches, and Kamutushi said