After starting in Pretoria last weekend, action in the 2022 Varsity Netball tournament moved to Potchefstroom for the second bumper weekend of this year’s competition.
It was business as usual for the most part, with the victories going the way of the usual suspects in the NWU Amphitheatre.
The Orange Army of UJ were on the brink of causing an upset when they pushed Maties all the way to the final whistle, before the Maroon Machine finally managed to grab a narrow 2-goal victory.
Home team NWU barely broke a sweat in trouncing TUT by 69 goals, remaining undefeated.
Defending champions Kovsies didn’t have much trouble in beating the Madibaz while former champions Tuks won the north-south battle against UWC.
Defending champions Kovsies back on track with victory over Madibaz
After a shock defeat against UJ in their last match of the first bumper weekend of 2022 Varsity Netball action, defending champions Kovsies had something to prove in their first outing at the NWU Amphitheatre in Potchefstroom against the Madibaz. Burta de Kock’s charges were clearly up for the challenge as they comfortably beat their rivals from the Eastern Cape 66-25.
The Madibaz stepped onto the court with one clear goal: to give Kovsies a run for their money. However, their dreams were short-lived with the defensive end from the defending champions turning ball after ball. This while the scoreboard kept ticking over on the other side courtesy of goal shooter Alyssa Trahms, giving Kovsies a comfortable 20 goal cushion at halftime.
Lana Krige’s Madibaz will rue their missed opportunities, their 52% goal percentage a clear indication of goal circle chances not converted. In the end, this meant a loss by 41 goals after a full 60 minutes of play.
Ané Retief (Kovsies): “I think on defence we really grouped together and communicated well, it makes it a lot easier when you are not doing it on your own. It was fun to try different things and really go for some loose intercepts. It was a good confidence booster to go further in the tournament.”
Quarter scores: 17-10 | 32-12 | 47-17 | 66-25
Match stats: Goal Percentage – Kovsies 78% Madibaz 52%| Intercepts – Kovsies 7 Madibaz 4| Penalties – Kovsies 34 Madibaz 34
Player of the match: Ané Retief (Kovsies)
Maties squeeze out come-from-behind win against UJ
From a defeat by 33 points in 2019, to one by 5 in 2021, to one by 2 in 2022. This is the story of how a determined UJ has been hot on the heels of three-times runners-up Maties in Varsity Netball. In the end, the Maroon Machine’s experience brought them a hard-fought victory of 44-42 over the Orange Army in Potchefstroom.
Both UJ and Maties put their bodies on the line, indicating they yearned for a win. After the first 15 minutes, there wasn’t much in it, but the Stellenbosch side enjoyed some breathing room at halftime with a narrow 3-goal lead.
UJ edged ahead in the third quarter and saved their power play for the last 15 minutes of the match. Bongi Msomi’s side however was not able to utilize all their opportunities as Maties’ defensive pressure took its toll.
It was the all-round presence of Nichole Taljaard, playing in four positions, that ensured Maties walked off court victorious. The Protea star was deservedly named as player of the match.
Nichole Taljaard (Maties): “Goal attack is definitely my favourite position, I’ve been playing it since I was 7. But I enjoy having a taste of everything and being able to understand every other position on court. I might need some more time to become an expert in those positions but I’m enjoying it and all the support around me.”
Quarter scores: 10-8| 21-18 | 29-30 | 44-42
Match stats: Goal Percentage – Maties 80% UJ 93% | Intercepts – Maties 9 UJ 9 | Penalties – Maties 72 UJ 54
Player of the match: Nichole Taljaard (Maties)
NWU hand TUT a hefty defeat
NWU made full use of their home town advantage at the NWU Amphitheatre in the 2022 Varsity Netball tournament when they convincingly beat TUT 89-20. While the Eagles have now won four on the trot in this year’s competition, TUT have yet to score a victory.
NWU were off to a slow start with TUT proving to be a challenge for the host side at first. The Eagles however quickly adapted to their own style of play and slotted in a few unanswered goals towards the end of the first quarter. They extend their lead to 29 points at halftime.
The remaining 2 quarters of the match pretty much followed the same script, with NWU proving just too strong for the Pretoria side. On defence, Martiné Jordaan and Sanmarie Visser contested every ball, while Elmeré van der Berg kept the scoreboard ticking with ease.
Elsunet du Plessis (NWU coach): “I think we need to be more disciplined going into the game tomorrow, make sure of our passes and don’t be reckless with the ball.”
Quarter scores: 16-6| 38-9 | 60-16 | 89-20
Match stats: Goal Percentage – NWU 77% TUT 48% | Intercepts – NWU 17 TUT 5 | Penalties – NWU 48 TUT 27
Player of the match: Tlotlang Mokomela (NWU)
Tuks return to winning ways against UWC
Tuks cemented their third place on the 2022 Varsity Netball log with a comprehensive 69-30 victory over UWC in the last match of the day at the NWU Amphitheatre. UWC occupies the number six position with only one victory so far.
Tuks were fast out of the starting blocks, with UWC having to play catch-up early on.
Danlee Mathews’ side did however manage to hang on somewhat in the first two quarters of the match, with 14 goals the difference at halftime.
The third and fourth quarters were one-way traffic, all coming from Tuks and with UWC having no answers to the pace of the game. Load shedding forced a break in play just as the last 15 minutes were about to get underway, possibly posing as a blessing in disguise for some tired legs on court.
Marichelle Visagie (Tuks): “We are going to celebrate our win tonight, then get an early rest because tomorrow we’ve got a big match (against Kovsies).”
Quarter scores: 14-9 | 33-19 | 52-23 | 69-30
Match stats: Goal Percentage – Tuks 73% UWC 71% | Intercepts – Tuks 14 UWC 6 | Penalties – Tuks 32 UWC 63
Player of the match: Marichelle Visagie (Tuks)
ROUND 5 – 26 SEPTEMBER – NWU Amphitheatre, Potchefstroom
13:00 – TUT vs UJ
15:00 – UWC vs Madibaz
17:00 – Kovsies vs Tuks
19:00 – NWU vs Maties
*All games are broadcast live on SuperSport.
by Jana Schlechter