26 Jul 2015

Proteas expect lesson from Silver Ferns

3:13 pm on 26 July 2015

The South African netball coach, Norma Plummer, is not promising miracles when the Proteas meet New Zealand in Hamilton on Sunday.

Silver Fern's Casey Williams and South Africa's Anna Christina Bootha, 2012.

Silver Fern's Casey Williams and South Africa's Anna Christina Bootha, 2012. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The match is the first in a two test series leading into next month's World Cup in Sydney.

After less than a month at the helm, Plummer, the former Australian coach, knows sixth-ranked South Africa will struggle to match the world number two Silver Ferns across the court.

But she's also convinced it's not a lack of talent or ability holding them back.

"Certainly the athletes have got the quality and the commitment - they're very talented," Plummer said.

"But when you put it together, it still comes down to the basic skills and how they're executed.

"They've lacked the opportunity to work on the finer details of the technical work on court."

Plummer, who has operated as something of a netball gun for hire since she finished a three-season stint at the West Coast Fever last year, has been working hard to rectify that.

"Looking at it, if we had four years we would be in a really prime position but three and a half weeks ...

"The talent's there, it's just trying to eliminate the errors and school them up on opposition plays."

Norma Plummer.

Norma Plummer. Photo: AAP

Plummer said she thought hard about taking on the South African role - "for at least half a second" - and has roped in former Australian goal attack and Diamonds assistant coach Nicole Cusack to help.

She expects the two games against New Zealand to be crucial as the Proteas head into their first game against fifth-ranked Malawi in Sydney.

"They've got the speed, the ability, the change of direction - all those things, but the placement of the pass has to improve.

"And we've still got to do it under pressure. Playing the Ferns, there'll be areas that will show up but there might also be some areas we do really well in, and I'm hoping that's because we've been able to show them the way tactically."

The match starts at 7.30pm.