Ine-Marí Venter danced around the goal circle like a waffle ballerina against a courageous Welsh netball team on Friday evening.
The 28-year-old player was accuracy herself under the net and she saw to it that the South Africans kept the scoreboard going in their opening game of the World Cup Netball Tournament in Cape Town.
Her outstanding performance in the Protea victory of 61 – 50 means that she was deservedly named the player of the match.
Norma Plummer sang the goalkeeper’s praises after the showdown.
“I am proud of the way we played. I would welcome a win any time, even if I thought we could have played better. The players gave their best and I think Ine definitely deserves her award,” said the Protea coach.
It was Venter, who plays her club netball for the Saracens Mavericks in England, her first game in a World Cup tournament.
“It means an incredible amount to me and I was in tears while we sang the national anthem; precisely because I missed the previous World Cup tournament with an injury. It was very special to enjoy this moment in my country,” said Venter.
Hearing Nkosi sikelel iAfrika for the first time at the Netball World Cup ????
— SuperSport ???? (@SuperSportTV) July 28, 2023
She admitted in a previous interview with RNews that there are indeed World Cup dreams for the Proteas in Table Mountain’s shadow.
“It is indeed a big task that awaits the players and coaches – there has already been a lot of buzz in the media about our home court advantage and possible podium chances. Yet it is something we all look forward to; we desperately want to do good.
As a team we are good enough to leave our mark on the World Cup tournament. We have the players, coaches, medical team and supporters. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but it’s a challenge that excites us.”
The Proteas play against Sri Lanka this afternoon at 16:00.