NWU held their nerves with a 48-44 victory over the Kovsies in Bloemfontein on Monday and with it they ensured a top finish in the group stage of Varsity Netball, remaining unbeaten.
This means the teams will most probably have a rematch next Monday in Bloemfontein in one of the semi-finals. That is unless the Maties suffer a shock defeat against the Madibaz in Stellenbosch.
NWU finished top of the log, but they cannot host any matches which means that they will have to travel to Bloemfontein again.
In one of their better performances this year, the Kovsies pushed the Potchefstroom students right until the end after they had a dreadful start. The home side scored their first goal after six and a half minutes had already elapsed. By then NWU already had six on the board and turned over possession several times.
The halftime score was 25-19. The Kovsies had a very good third quarter in which they took the lead for the first time. It was, however, for a very brief period.
The teams had everything to play for in the final quarter with NWU still having a power play to call. However, it didn’t produce any goals in a two-minute period where both teams defended out of their skins.
NWU, the champions of the previous two years, showed composure under pressure whereas the Kovsies made some crucial errors that cost them.
Burta de Kock, Kovsies coach, would be satisfied with a much improved performance from last week. NWU on the other hand, would argue that they are capable of much better than what they produced on Monday.
No team that has gone through the group stages unbeaten has gone on to win the competition, in Varsity Netball history.
FNB Player of the Match: Zandré Erasmus (NWU)
Samsung Best Shot: Jessica du Plessis (NWU)