UP-Tuks to win by 50-48. That is what history suggests will be the outcome when they face NWU in the final of Varsity Netball on Monday in Pretoria.
The finalists have met seven times before with NWU winning four of them and Tuks three. But mainly thanks to a big winning margin (61-39 in 2014) Tuks edge NWU in the average score between the two teams.
When it comes to knock-out matches, NWU have a far better record. They have won 75% (6 out of 8) of their semi-finals and finals. In comparison, Tuks only managed three wins from seven knock-out fixtures which accounts for 43%.
In the two occasions where they have met in a knock-out match (semi-final in 2013 and final in 2016), NWU won both.
Interestingly, both teams completed two records over the other. NWU reduced Tuks to their lowest goal tally in a Varsity Netball match this year when they only managed 34 goals. The 59 goals conceded against NWU in 2013 is also the most ever by Tuks.
The 61-39 win by Tuks in 2014 was the most goals NWU have conceded to date and is also their biggest loss.
In the only change to the two squads for the final, Sanele Buthelezi of Tuks replaces Juzelri Garbers who injured her ACL in the semi-final win against the Maties.
Tuks have five members remaining from last year’s team in the final and NWU have seven. Both captains, Chanté Bester (NWU) and Shadine van der Merwe (Tuks), will be playing in their final match for their respective universities. Bester could become the first captain to hold the trophy aloft twice. In that case NWU will also become the most successful team in the competition’s history. They and Kovsies have both won the series twice.
NWU: Sigi Burger, Anja Esterhuizen, Marike Maree, Jessica du Plessis, Jomari Myburgh, Mandy Hermanus, Romé Dreyer, Didi Keebine, Chanté Bester ©, Simoné Rabie, Zandré Erasmus, Monique Reyneke. Head coach: Dorette Badenhorst.
Tuks: Chanté Louw, Ine-Marí Venter, Rumandi Potgieter, Jeanette Vermeulen, Anique Grobler, Tshina Mdau, Marlize de Bruin, Sanele Buthelezi, Akosua Mensah, Lungile Mthembu, Shadine van der Merwe ©, Jasmine Ziegelmeier. Head coach: Jenny van Dyk.
Previous results between NWU and Tuks in Varsity Netball:
2017: NWU 40 – Tuks 34 @ Bloemfontein
2016: NWU 56 – Tuks 55 @ Pretoria (final)
2016: Tuks 52 – NWU 48 @ Stellenbosch
2015: Tuks 58 – NWU 51 @ Pretoria
2014: Tuks 61 – NWU 39 @ Johannesburg
2013: NWU 46 – Tuks 42 @ Stellenbosch (semi-final)
2013: NWU 59 – Tuks 49 @ Pretoria