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Super League stars shine on first day of 2023 Netball Quad Series

The 2023 Netball Quad Series kicked off in thrilling style with New Zealand and Australia grabbing victories on day one.

Netball Super League stars were at the forefront of the opening day of action in Cape Town, with a dominant defence helping England’s Vitality Roses soar to an early lead against the Australian Diamonds, before eventually losing out 61-55 to the world number one team.

Meanwhile, Manchester Thunder’s Lenize Potgieter and Shadine van der Merwe were pivotal to South Africa’s opening fixture against the Silver Ferns on home soil.

Fadoju reigns supreme as intercept queen

The Vitality Roses got off to a storming start in Cape Town, keeping a calm presence on court to lead 18-14 against the Diamonds after the first quarter.

An all-Super League defence saw London Pulse’s Fadoju and Surrey Storm’s Layla Guscoth link up in a high-pressure combination for the Roses, knocking the rhythm out of Australia’s Sophie Garbin and Steph Wood in the shooting circle.

As Australia bit back in the second quarter, Loughborough Lightning’s Alice Harvey swapped into the defensive set-up as goal keeper, Fadoju moving to her usual goal defence as the challenge from their opposition intensified.

Some incredible fast play in the mid-court by Pulse’s Jade Clarke and Manchester Thunder skipper Natalie Metcalf in the final few seconds of play edged England ahead by one goal leading into half-time.

As Francesca Williams joined her Lightning teammate Harvey in defence, the third quarter saw the Diamonds settle into some fast-paced play and take control of the score board.

The Roses fought back to retake the lead in a tough final quarter, Fadoju making her way back on court to inspire her teammates in the closing stages and grabbing her fourth interception of the game.

Despite a rallying effort in the last three minutes, with Storm’s Sophie Drakeford-Lewis injecting a burst of energy for the Roses, the Diamonds took the game 61-55.

Potgieter hits the mark with some stellar shooting

New Zealand kicked-off the seventh edition of the 2023 Series with a 61-41 victory over hosts South Africa in the first match of the day.

Thunder duo Potgieter and van der Merwe were both in the starting VII for the Proteas alongside former Team Bath star Phumza Maweni, pushing to keep up with the intense speed of the Silver Ferns.

Van der Merwe was a force to be reckoned with in the defending third, having to battle against a savvy New Zealand side in a fiery first half that saw South Africa narrowly behind 25-30.

Super League summer signing Potgieter shone as goal shooter, making 25 out of her 26 shots and helping the Proteas to an impressive 93% shooting accuracy at half time.

Potgieter was joined by Ine-Marie Venter of Saracens Mavericks after the break to make up an exciting Super League pairing in the circle whilst Mavericks’ new recruit Monique Reyneke-Mayer made her 2023 series bow in the fourth quarter.

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