England Roses suffer final Test defeat to South Africa in Cape Town

Sunday 1st December 2019 13:30 GMT

With the knowledge that the series already belonged to them, head coach Jess Thirlby took the opportunity to make personnel changes at both ends of the court.

A new shooting partnership of George Fisher and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis arrived in one circle and Kate Shimmin was handed her first England cap in the defensive end.

In contrast to the first Tests, the Roses were unable to settle and found themselves 27-21 down after the first 30 minutes.

Instead of fluid and clean passing, balls in attack were pushed too far and Lenize Potgieter was unable to be contained at the other end.

The room that Potgieter enjoyed out at GA ignited South Africa's confidence and her accuracy in the 'D' kept the scoreboard ticking nicely.

Thirlby reverted to a more familiar line-up for the second half, re-introducing Kadeen Corbin and Fran Williams, and a strong comeback to 35-35 was the result.

However, South Africa were fiercely determined not to end their home series without a victory and remained composed.

Phumza Maweni was utterly inspired from start to finish, highlighting how much of a threat she will be to all teams in the coming years and like in the first Test, Lefebre Rademan added a new dimension when she came on and combined with Potgieter.

The Roses challenged hard in the final minutes however they had left themselves too much to do and the final victory belonged to their hosts.

With both teams operating under new head coaches, Thirlby and Dorette Badenhorst will have gained valuable lessons from all three matches, about their players and about potential combinations moving forwards.

The next stop for both is the four-team Vitality Nations Cup competition in January. England will start their campaign on January 19 against New Zealand whilst South Africa will meet Jamaica and all four match-days will be live on Sky Sports.

Sky Sports is your home of netball and live action returns with the Vitality Nations Cup in January 2020. The four-nation competition starts on January 19 with England taking on the world champions New Zealand.

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