UJ made sure the University of Pretoria remain their happy hunting ground as they caused the first major upset of the 2022 Varsity Netball tournament with a worthy victory against defending champions Kovsies at the Rembrandt Hall.
The enthusiastic crowd was on the edge of their seats as Maties just edged out home team Tuks in a close tussle in the last match of the first of three bumper weekends.
Other results saw UWC lead from start to finish to beat TUT while NWU scored a comfortable win against the Madibaz.
The tournament now moves to Potchefstroom with back-to-back action on Sunday 25 September and Monday 26 September.
UWC win a close battle against TUT
It took Danlee Mathews’ UWC team all four quarters to secure a 44-40 victory over TUT in the first match of round 3 of the 2022 Varsity Netball tournament. The see-saw affair between these two teams started in 2019 with a victory for UWC before TUT sneaked in a win last year.
TUT started at a blistering pace and took an early 5-goal lead, only for UWC to edge ahead at the end of the quarter. Emily Mathosa’s Red Army then made full use of the power play in the next 15 minutes and went to the halftime break in the lead.
Shevonne Hoffman of UWC and Jacobeth Bvuma of TUT both found their consistency in the goal circle in the third quarter and the scores were tied. The clinical defence was the decisive factor in the last quarter which saw UWC limiting TUT’s goal chances.
Heidi Kuzatjike (UWC): “We deserved this as a team because we worked hard, we fought till the end and we just didn’t give up. I had to be clinical today, if my passes weren’t accurate, the ball wouldn’t get to the circle.”
Quarter scores: 10-9 |22-25 |35-35 | 44-40
Match stats: Goal Percentage – UWC 75% TUT 74% | Intercepts – UWC 4 TUT 14 | Penalties – UWC 91 TUT 61
Player of the match: Heidi Kuzatjike (UWC)
NWU get bonus point victory over Madibaz
NWU dominated all aspects of their match against the Madibaz, scoring a comprehensive 84-52 victory. It is the second year running in Varsity Netball that the 2015 and 2016 champions beat their opponents from Port Elizabeth by more than 30 points.
NWU produced a powerful first quarter to secure a 17-goal lead. The Madibaz tried to play catch-up in the second quarter, but their opponents were simply too clinical in their execution.
Both sides got their fair share of the power play in the third quarter, scoring six points each.
NWU kept the scoreboard going in the last 15 minutes, earning another bonus point victory.
Next weekend sees NWU playing in front of their home crowd in Potchefstroom.
Elmeré van der Berg (NWU): “It was a hard match and we wanted to keep them under 50 and we got the result we wanted. We are looking forward to next weekend, we just need to get consistency for next week’s match against Maties. It’s the first time in a long while we are playing at home and we are excited about that.”
Quarter scores: 24-7| 35-21 | 61-37 | 84-52
Match stats: Goal Percentage – NWU 89% Madibaz 71% | Intercepts – NWU 7 Madibaz 9 | Penalties – NWU 48 Madibaz 53
Player of the match: Elmeré van der Berg (NWU)
UJ blast past defending champions Kovsies
UJ served up the first shock of the 2022 Varsity Netball tournament when they beat defending champions Kovsies 54-43. This is only the second time UJ beat Kovsies, they scored their first victory in 2016 (59-52), also at the University of Pretoria.
This turnaround of UJ started in 2019 when Protea captain Bongi Msomi was appointed as head coach. In the short space of a couple of years, the inspirational centre-court player turned defeats of 30+ points into close matches and surprise victories.
UJ kept the pressure on Kovsies from the get-go with the defending champions not having any answers for their opponent’s fast pace. Msomi’s side never let go of their lead throughout the match, ending each quarter with a comfortable cushion.
Nomfundo Mngomezulu (UJ): “I’m very happy with the performance of my team, this is where we wanted to be, to get this win, this is what we needed. It’s all due to the hard work and to play with our hearts, I think that showed on the court.”
Quarter scores: 15-9 | 26-19 | 40-28 | 54-43
Match stats: Goal Percentage – Kovsies 71% UJ 98% | Intercepts – Kovsies 11 UJ 6| Penalties – Kovsies 57 UJ 38
Player of the match: Nomfundo Mngomezulu (UJ)
Maties spoil Tuks’ party in front of the home crowd
Captain Sian Moore led from the front in a pulsating encounter that saw Maties sneak past Tuks 57-55 in the final match of the first bumper weekend of the 2022 Varsity Netball tournament in Pretoria. This means the Maroon Machine is now 3-0 in the two teams’ last three matches in the competition.
Maties had a 5-goal lead at the end of the first quarter thanks to some excellent shooting from Moore. Alice Kennon however kept her cool in the Tuks goal circle, closing the gap to only two goals at halftime and turning this deficit into a 3-goal lead after the third quarter. Maties then found an extra spring in their step in the last 15 minutes to score an important victory.
Zanele Mdodana (Maties): “It was a really tough one and we didn’t expect anything less. It was a game we knew would go right down to the wire. The character of a great team is a team that can win the games that they are not supposed to.”
Quarter scores: 16-11 | 29-27 | 41-44 | 57-55
Match stats: Goal Percentage – Tuks 80% Maties 88% | Intercepts – Tuks 10 Maties 8 | Penalties – Tuks 35 Maties 61
Player of the match: Melissa van Zyl (Tuks)
VARSITY NETBALL LOG
ROUND 4 – 25 SEPTEMBER – NWU Amphitheatre, Potchefstroom
13:00 – Madibaz vs Kovsies
15:00 – Maties vs UJ
17:00 – NWU vs TUT
19:00 – Tuks vs UWC
*All games are broadcast live on SuperSport.
by Lehlogonolo Ditshego