Pretorius, Msomi pay tribute to Plummer

Henry

Just before the Protea netball team’s World Cup match against New Zealand in Cape Town, the Kiwis’ Noeline Taurua admitted that she was “terrified” of Norma Plummer.

“Norma is amazing. She is one of the best yet, a legend, and I have a lot of respect for her,” said the New Zealand netball coach.

A few hours later, the South Africans produced a remarkable performance to draw against the star-studded Silver Ferns.

And the award for the biggest smile of the night probably went to the sleepy Plummer; the Australian netball guru whose heart beats warmly for South Africa’s players.

But this past Sunday’s decisive match between the Proteas and England in Nottingham was the 79-year-old coach’s last match at the helm of the South Africans on the international stage.

South Africa played well against the Roses – the team won the second test 61–59 and lost by only three goals in the final game.

“It’s a shame that we didn’t win the series, but I can assure you that we laid the foundation for a strong South African team and hopefully the group can build on this,” said Plummer.

The former player – she also represented Australia on the court – twice took the coaching reins of the Proteas.

Between 2015 and 2019, she saw to it that the South Africans finished fourth at the World Cup in Liverpool, while the team also gave a ranking jump or two on World Netball’s official rankings.

She then became part of the action again in 2022 and was at the helm of the Proteas’ World Cup campaign on home soil.

“I had the privilege of working with the best players in this South African team. I want to wish them well and thank them, but it is time for netball to grow in South Africa.”

According to Karla Pretorius, it was an honor to work with Plummer.

“I consider myself one of the lucky players who had the privilege of being coached by Norma Plummer. I could hardly believe it when I heard that she was coming to coach us; she exceeded all my expectations and we are very lucky to have someone of her caliber,” said the Protea star.

Captain Bongi Msomi also paid tribute to Plummer.

“Thanks to her hard work, we started to believe in our abilities on the court – we no longer only participate in tournaments, we also know that we are good enough to win. She established a winning culture in the team and did an incredible amount for all of us. I learned a lot from her and I try to apply these lessons daily in my own life.”

Results of South Africa’s netball series against England:

England 54 – 51 South Africa

South Africa 61 – 59 England

England 53 – 50 South Africa