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Plummer's Proteas continue to improve

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/08/2016 Cathy Walshe

Proteas skipper Bongi Msomi has little doubt what's behind the South African netball team's recent resurgence

It's been just over a year since double world championship-winning coach Norma Plummer took over, and the canny Australian's eagle eye and keen netball brain are making all the difference.

"For any team to get the likes of Norma, there will be an improvement straight away - before you even get to the court," Msomi told NZ Newswire.

The fifth-ranked South Africans are coming off a 68-43 loss to the world champion Australian Diamonds in their first-up quad series match in Auckland three days ago.

They face an equally intimidating task in taking on the world No.2 New Zealanders in Hamilton on Wednesday.

But although the South African losses are still significant, the 28-year-old KwaZulu Natal midcourter can see the improvement.

Against Australia, she said, the shortcomings were obvious.

"But I think we're at a point where we realise our mistakes, go back to training and fix them.

"Against the Silver Ferns, we'll just have to work even harder, and try to be more consistent, especially as a team as opposed to seven individuals on court."

They face a New Zealand team missing some key players, including injured goal attack Maria Tutaia and a trio of defenders in Leana de Bruin (retired) and Casey Kopua (maternity leave) and Anna Harrison (injured).

The Silver Ferns nonetheless present a formidable challenge, particularly given their emphatic 65-39 win over England in their first match of the quad series.

The Proteas are also missing one of their most experienced players after goal attack and captain Maryka Holtzhausen ruptured knee ligaments recently.

But coach Plummer says the Msomi-led Proteas won't let that dictate their approach into Wednesday's game.

"They're intelligent, and they're learning quickly. We're going to challenge and try to apply pressure for the full game.

"We are learning so much from every game."

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