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Proteas to take on Australia in Netball World Cup semi-finals

South Africa go into the clash off the back of a 58-47 loss to hosts England in what has been their only defeat of the tournament to date.

South African netball team at the Commonwealth Games. Picture: @Netball_SA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG – The Proteas will take on world number one Australia in their Netball World Cup semi-final later today.

South Africa go into the clash off the back of a 58-47 loss to hosts England in what has been their only defeat of the tournament to date.

Australia on the hand have not lost a single match at this year’s competition, with their toughest test so far being fellow semi-finalists New Zealand, who they beat 50-49.

Australia are the defending world champions in Liverpool and they have played South Africa 39 times.

South Africa have never beaten or drawn with Australia, so the Aussie Diamonds will go into today's semi-final as the firm favourites.

Proteas centre, Erin Berger said they will have to bring their A-game if they want to progress to the final.

"You need to be physically strong and not back down from any team in the competition. Its a combination of being mentally tough, emotionally ready to take on anyone and physically not backing down from anyone", Berger said.

Berger said that while the side has been in good form in the tournament, they can't rely on past results.

"Its a super important match and past games won't really count in a one-off match, so we really need to focus on playing our best netball in this semi-final", she said.

Coach Norma Plummer said her team has come a long way.

“My SPAR Proteas will go out onto court with big hearts and give their very best. I have been so proud of them to have got to the last four. That was the goal and it’s been achieved. Obviously going up against England was nerve-racking for the girls, and those nerves cost them a few goals. Nerves need to be managed but you can appreciate the pressure on the team from all over, never in 25 years have a South African team done so well, they just not used to the big stage yet and so going out against the most dominant force in world netball will have to be well managed. But saying that we are as best prepared as we would be to take the Aussies on and the girls are looking forward to it”, she said.

South Africa get their game underway at 12:15 (SA time), with the second semi-final between England and New Zealand on the go from 16:00 (SA time).

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