Roses kick-start Quad Series with 24-goal win

HOME nation England Roses have kick-started their 2022 Quad Series campaign off on the best possible note with a comprehensive 24-goal win over South Africa. The Roses proved far too good for the understrength SPAR Proteas, taking full advantage of the visitors missing Karla Pretorius. Winning each term by between three and 10 goals, England got up 71-47, at the Cooper Box Arena.

Without Pretorius, the SPAR Proteas sent in Monique Reyneke at goal defence joining Phumza Maweni in the circle. Their opponents were Helen Housby and Eleanor Cardwell after the Roses had a late withdrawal of their own in Jo Harten missing the series due to Covid protocols.


The first term saw the Roses on the board first with back-to-back goals to Cardwell, and then a third to Housby, before Ine-Mari Venter who was chosen as SPAR Proteas shooter broke the drought just under two minutes in. The Roses pressure early was evident, with Geva Mentor‘s experience back at goal keeper earning her earning two of the side’s gains and a crucial intercept in the first term off an attempted feed from Bongi Msomi.

England raced to a 16-13 quarter time with Cardwell shooting 12 goals form 13 attempts, as Housby nailed all four of her attempts, and also produced three assists from four feeds. Natalie Metcalf showed that a new surname had not changed one once of her ability with seven assists from eight feeds. Venter and Lefébre Rademan did not miss a shot in the opening term for the Proteas with 11 and two goals on the baord. Msomi had seven goals from 11 feeds, whilst Maweni picked up a gain up the other end.


Though the first term had been relatively even, it was the second term that took the game away from South Africa. The Roses piled on 21 goals to 11 to go up by 13 at the main break. George Fisher came on for Cardwell at the break, whilst Laura Malcolm replaced captain Serena Guthrie late in the term. The only change for the Proteas saw Zanele Vimbela come on for Reyneke. At one stage, Ventre cut the deficit to just two goals after three consecutive makes, but then England put the foot down with five consecutive goals and 11 of the next 13 goals to blow the lead out to 11, with a 30-19 scoreline.

In that term, Fisher scored 12 goals from 13 attempts, whilst Housby shot nine from nine in a brilliant shooting display from the home side. Before she came off Guthrie aided with six goal assists from nine feeds, as well as an intercept. Layla Guscoth was also starting to shine alongside Mentor, grabbing a rebound and two intercepts as the pressure was starting to get to the Proteas. Metcalf produced eight goal assists from 11 feeds, but both the turnover count (7-3) and penalties count (11-9) were against South Africa. Msomi was playing well, but Guthrie had got the better of Izette Griesel who committed three turnovers.


With the lead out to 13 goals, England rifled through the changes. Eboni Usoro-Brown came on for Mentor, and Beth Cobden headed to the bench for Guthrie to slot into wing defence. The Proteas remained unchanged despite the term, showcasing the difference in depth. The third term was a lot closer with Venter scoring another perfect quarter with 10 goals from 10 attempts, and Msomi producing five assists from seven feeds. Griesel had another couple of turnovers trying to feed through shooters with Malcolm and Usoro-Brown picking off passes.

Usoro-Brown had three gains and a rebound to go with her intercept, whilst up the other end, Fisher scored 10 goals from 11 attempts, and Housby continued her run with six from six. Malcolm and Metcalf were playing well in midcourt, as England gave its remaining bench players some minutes late in the term. Sophie Drakeford-Lewis came on for Housby and Imogen Allison replaced Guthrie as the captain had her second spell of the term. For the visitors, Tshina Mdau came on for Phumza Maweni as the term evened out in the last five minutes, but the Roses still lead 53-36.


The game was done and dusted so South Africa rolled out the changes in the last term, with Sigrid Burger coming on in goal shooter and Venter moving to goal attack, Simoné Rabie coming on up the other end in goal keeper and Reyneke back on in goal defence, whilst Mdau moved to wing defence, and Khanyisa Chawane came off. Guscoth went to the bench for Mentor who moved into the goal keeper bib, and Usoro-Brown rolled into goal defence.

The changes did little to help the Proteas, as England piled on six of the first seven goals to go out to a 59-37 lead, with Venter only managing the one in the first three minutes. Fisher was on fire throughout the term, whilst burger scored her first around the five-minute mark of the quarter. The towering Leeds Rhinos shooter would finished with six goals from seven attempts, while Venter would have five from six. Griezel had her best quarter in centre with five goal assists from seven feeds, as well as two gains and two intercepts, whilst Msomi managed the three from six with a gain and an intercept.

However Fisher continued to put her case up for Commonwealth Games selection with 15 goals from 16 attempts in the final term, whilst Malcolm had seven assists from seven feeds in a perfect display of passing. Drakeford Lewis got a chance late in the term to roll into wing attack, with Cardwell returning to goal attack and Metcalf earning a break. By the time the final whistle sounded, England had scored another 18 goals to 11 and won by 24, 71-47 to kick-start their Quad Series on a high.


Guscoth won Player of the Match after a fantastic defensive game, but also picking up a couple of intercepts, a rebound and four gains, with that second term being the difference in the match. She was one of many possible choices as Mentor also grabbed four gains, an intercept and a rebound, whilst up the other end, the shooters were unbelievable. Fisher (37 goals from 40 attempts), Housby (19 from 19) and Cardwell (14 from 15) all gave the Proteas defenders heads, whilst Metcalf had 21 goal assists, a gain and an intercept from wing attack, and Malcolm came on comfortably from 13 goal assists and a gain.

For the Proteas, Venter was the dominant shooter with 36 goals from 38 attempts, as Msomi had 21 assists from 31 feeds. Rademan tried hard with five goals from seven attempts, and seven goal assists from eight feeds. Griesel stepped up late after mistakes with four turnovers, but 12 goal assists from 20 feeds, two gains and two assists. Maweni also did her best under siege with three gains, an intercept and a rebound.

England now faces the Silver Ferns in Round 2 of the competition, whilst the Proteas have to take on world number ones Australia.


England Roses:

GS Eleanor Cardwell
GA Helen Housby
WA Natalie Metcalf
C Serena Guthrie
WD: Beth Cobden
GD: Layla Guscoth
GK: Geva Mentor

SPAR Proteas:

GS: Ine-Mari Venter
GA: Lefebre Rademan
WA: Bongiwe Msomi
C: Izette Griezel
WD: Khanyisa Chawane
GD: Monique Reyneke
GK: Phumza Maweni

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