South Africa national netball team yesterday set a new score record against the Malawi Queens with a 69-28 demolition to wrap up three match test series in style.
Battered, bruised and barerly recognisable as once the queens of African netball, Malawi were ruthlessly torn apart by the hosts who set a new 41-basket win record against the Queens.
To put an icing on the cake, the hosts also swept awards for the test series with Lenize Potgieter named Best Shooter, Khanyisa Chawane named Best Mid-Court, the Best Defender Award went to Phumza Maweni while Shadine van der Merwe was named Player of the Tournament.
Although they were without their star goal shooters Australia-based Mwawi Kumwenda and Joyce Mvula, who is based in England, the Queens’ performance in all the three matches at the Super Bowl in Sun City were a confirmation that they are in sharp decline, which should give Netball Association of Malawi food for thought going forward.
In a match monitored on SuperSport Television, after an impressive start in the first quarter in which they attacked with flair and fervour, the Queens trailed 14-9, but they lost their rhythm thereafter and were repeatedly fragile, moving sluggishly to counter the pacy and inventive Spar Proteas.
Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua conceded that her charges had their backs to the wall for the better part of the contest.
She said: “All I can say is that our fitness levels were very low. In all the matches, we were starting well in the first quarter, but from then on we would lose the plot.
“We need to be having sessions after every four months to keep the girls in shape as part of preparations for 2024 World Cup.”
The Queens gaffer also thanked Netball South Africa for inviting them for the test series.
Her Spar Proteas counterpart Dread Badenholst was impressed with her team’s vintage show.
On what rate she would give her team out of 10, the South Africa mentor jokingly said: “I would actually [go beyond that] and give them 11.
“The debutantes were fantastic, the combinations worked out perfectly and we were in total control of the proceedings.”
The margin widened in the second quarter in which the Queens trailed 36-16 and in the third quarter, it became a disaster asthe hosts cruised to a 56-20 lead.
Analyst Charles Nyirenda yesterday said the Queens need a complete overhaul.
“I have watched all the three matches and we must be brave by taking tough decisions.
“The majority of our players are old and we need to start rebuilding now for the next World Cup. This appeasement must stop,” he said.
In the first test match, South Africa beat Malawi 65-25 to set a record of 40 goals and followed it up with a 62-29 victory the next day.