UP-Tuks used the two power plays exceptionally well by soundly beating the Maties 74-43 at the Rembrandt Hall in Pretoria on Monday evening, booking their place in the 2017 Varsity Netball final.
It was the visitors who had the first opportunity to score through Charmaine Baard, but she missed and Tuks sent the ball down the court and opened their account. The Maties drew equal with the next goal and for the rest of the first quarter the Tuks would score, then Maties would draw level. This pattern continued until the score was 11-11 before the Maties managed to lead for the first time, and ultimately last time in the match. Their lead was short-lived as Tuks scored twice to end the quarter at 13-12.
The Tuks coaching team must have pressed the right buttons in the interval as their charges came out firing, quickly scoring four goals to open up the biggest gap of the match. For every goal the Maties scored Tuks responded by scoring two, and when the power play was called the Tuks raced out to a 31-21 lead. The trend of two Tuks goals for each one by Maties continued and the hosts went into the break leading 35-23.
Tuks were first to score yet again after halftime and they kept the scoreboard pressure on the Maties by scoring regularly and frustrating the Maties attackers. The second power play was called and while Maties did better than the first one, the damage had been done and at 48-30 the victory was all but assured. Tuks outscored Maties 20 to 13 in the third quarter and at 55-36 the result was a foregone conclusion.
Tuks, along with NWU, have played in every Varsity Netball semi-final to date and they showed why they are favourites to claim that elusive title this year. They kept the foot firmly on the accelerator and scored another 19 goals to the 7 of the Maties, and the match became the highest scoring semi-final in competition history. The final score of 74-43 and goal total of 117 eclipsed the 2014 result of 68-46, which had seen 114 goals scored, and is a testament to the tempo at which the Tuks played.
The experience of Ine-Mari Venter was evident and the goal-shooter showed that she is very close to earning her national colours by collecting the FNB Player of the Match award, while her teammate and goal-attack Rumandi Potgieter claimed the Samsung Best Shot Award.
FNB Player of the Match: Ine-Mari Venter (UP-Tuks)
Samsung Best Shot Award: Rumandi Potgieter(UP-Tuks)
UP-Tuks: Jasmine Ziegelmeier (GK), Shadine van der Merwe (GD) – Captain, Lungile Mthembu (WD), Marlize de Bruin (C), Tshina Mdau (WA), Rumandi Potgieter (GA), Ine-Marie Venter (GS)
Substitutes: Chanté Louw, Jeanette Vermeulen, Anique Grobler, Akosua Mensah, Juzelri Garbers.
Maties: Stephanie Brand (GK), Megan Gossman (GD) – Captain, Caleigh Stuart (WD), Carla Werth (C), Zhane Petersen (WA), Nicola Taljaard (GA), Charmaine Baard (GS)
Substitutes: Abeline Oliver, Alison Malgas, Leanne Nigrini, Lindsay-Anne Sparow, Somari Els
By Dorfling Terblanche