Proteas need to focus now more than ever, says Bongi Msomi

Bongi Msomi of the SPAR Proteas and Sarah MacPhail of Scotland in action during the Vitality Netball World Cup match between South Africa and Scotland at M&S Bank Arena on July 15, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images)

South Africa’s stellar campaign at the World Cup has been a joy to watch, but they need to avoid a potential banana peel in Uganda.

South Africa’s netball star Bongi Msomi says her team can’t afford to look too far ahead at Thursday night’s game against England, despite the match looking increasingly likely to decide the winner of Group G.

The Proteas and Tracey Neville’s English Roses both have six points, and look favourites to secure the two semifinal berths on offer to teams in their group.

However, after their first rest day of the tournament on Tuesday, both have another fixture to contend with before Thursday’s showdown: England take on Trinidad and Tobago while South Africa face Uganda with both matches on Wednesday.

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Posted by Netball World Cup on Monday, 15 July 2019

Msomi believes the talent the She Cranes (Uganda) possess means South Africa can’t afford to let their focus wander.

“We have Uganda next, and they’re not just another side – they’re a quality side and we’ll have a big game against them, so we are focusing on that. Whatever happens elsewhere in the group, we have to perform to benefit ourselves,” she said.

“We have to switch on if we want to work through the tournament – we have so much respect for all the teams here. It’s game-by-game and we have to be switched on still, because we can’t take anyone for granted – that’s why this tournament is huge this year.”

South Africa took on Scotland on Monday and recorded a comfortable 66-38 victory – their fourth from four in the competition to date.

Of their campaign, Msomi said: “It’s been amazing – it’s been a good journey for us. We came up with the win on Sunday against Jamaica and that was amazing for us. We couldn’t have asked for a better win to give us some confidence going forward.

“Everyone did really well against Scotland. We came here with 12 players to come on court whenever they were needed and it’s the coach’s strategy to work things out and save legs where we can.

“We know we’ve got great players to step on court and perform and I think we did that superbly.”

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