South Africa beat Malawi 60-44 in Africa Netball World Cup qualifiers last Saturday as both teams have booked places in the 2023 Netball World Cup finals to be held in South Africa.
The 2023 Netball World Cup will be the sixteenth staging of the premier competition in international netball, contested every four years. The tournament will be held from 28 July to 6 August at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa.
With both Malawi and South Africa having already qualified for the Netball World Cup 2023 (NWC2023), the final was all about who would leave the NWC2023 Qualifiers – Africa with the bragging rights finishing 1st.
The Malawi Queens started the first quarter stronger, and were leading by two half-way through the first 15-minutes as they found their shooters with ease. Whilst at the other end, South Africa struggled to find their shooters, firing the ball off the back of the court on a couple of occasions as the shooters struggled to get through.
The SPAR Proteas grew into the match, fixing their early errors and nothing could separate the two sides at the first break, as the score sat at 13-13.
The opening minutes of the second quarter went goal for goal, until World Netball world ranked number five, South Africa, began to show their strengths and gel as a team, moving the ball patiently down the court in attack and closing down Malawi’s space at the other end to take a 22 – 29 goal lead into half-time.
South Africa started the second-half just how they finished the first; in control, extending their lead and being cheered on by their home crowd.
With 15-minutes remaining the SPAR Proteas led by 14 goals and they showed no signs of tiring as they finished the final quarter on a high, netting 15 goals to not only win the match, but also the Qualifiers.
Africa Netball World Cup Qualifiers format
The African qualifying round was held in one place, South Africa’ Pretoria between 21 August and 27 August 2022, with nine teams taking part. South Africa, while still participating in the tournament, had already qualified for the World Cup due to being the hosts, leaving eight teams to compete for two qualifying places.
Teams competed in two pools, with each team playing every other team in the pool. At the end of the pool stage, the first-placed team in each pool played the second-placed team of the other pool, with the winners playing each other in the final and the remaining teams playing each other to determine 3rd through 9th place. The top two teams of the tournament (excluding South Africa) qualified for the Netball World Cup.