Capacity crowd expected as netball tri-nations starts

ALL roads will lead to the NMMU Indoor Sports Centre today when South Africa start their bid for glory at the tri-Nations netball series.

A capacity crowd is expected at the centre to watch the Proteas when they take on a formidable Trinidad and Tobago combination.

The third nation is England.

Madibaz stalwart defender and SA’s most-capped player, Zanele Mdodana, makes a welcome return to the national squad after struggling with injuries recently.

Mdodana’s presence will be a major boost for the home side as they attempt to prove they are a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.

The Proteas have a point to prove after slumping 3-0 to England in a test series on British soil last month.

However, the Proteas are in a confident mood as they bid to start the competition on a winning note.

Captain Maryka Holtzhausen said her side were determined to prove themselves in the four-day contest after having lost to England.

Although England, currently third in the world rankings, are the favourites on paper, Holtzhausen says being the underdogs could work in the sixth- placed home side’s favour.

“We’ve worked hard on our attack and changed a few things, but our big strength is definitely our defence.

“Zanele had a great training camp last week – she is 100% [fit] and really hungry to play excellent netball like we know she can.”

Holtzhausen said Trinidad and Tobago, who occupy ninth spot in the world, would be the dark horse of the series.

Tomorrow the Proteas take on England and on Thursday the visiting teams play each other.

First and second on the log go on to compete in Friday’s final.

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