Despite not finishing on a high note in their last African Netball Championship match against the continent’s number one ranked side South Africa, Namibia’s Desert Jewels head coach Julene Meyer believes the tournament was a crucial learning curve and the sky is the limit for her girls.
Heading into yesterday’s concluding encounter, the Namibians were coming on the back of an inspiring 43-42 win over Zambia and looking to round off their African Netball Championship campaign with a much-improved display against South Africa.
But as expected, the silky South Africans proved to be in a class of their own as they ruled the roost in all three opening quarters on their way to a commanding 65-39 win over the host nation.
The South Africans won the first quarter 16-10, the second quarter 32-16, the third quarter 49-28 and the final quarter 65-39 to retain the Africa Netball Championship
Despite yesterday’s defeat and overall mixed performance at the just-ended
African Netball Championship, Meyer is optimistic and looks to the future with great pride and confidence. “I’m very proud of our overall performance and with how the girls have grown over the past few days. South African ranked 5th in the world and we managed to put up a great fight against them, that gives me hope and pride. We just need to continue narrowing those margins and we will defiantly get there as a team,” said Meyer.
South Africa’s assistant coach Dumisani Chauke admitted that although the match ended in their favour, the Desert Jewels gave them a good run for their money and proved that Namibia is indeed a force to be reckoned with in Africa.
“We knew that Namibia will give us a run for our money, we understood that they will bring their A-game and we needed to be ready for that. I am really proud of how our girls rallied together and made sure that they deliver for the team. Whoever we put in today (yesterday) understood what the assignment was regardless of where you come from, the KPIs do not change. We needed to make sure that we deliver,” said Chauke.
South Africa finished top of the log to be crowned champions, followed by Uganda in second place and Malawi in third place, while host Namibia finished 4th overall.