March 1, 2024

Johannesburg off to winning start at Spar Netball Championships

CAPE TOWN – Defending champions Johannesburg got off to the best possible start in the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships at Hoërskool Rustenburg on Monday with thumping victories in the two matches they played.

Johannesburg thrashed Buffalo City 74-22 in their opening match and then beat Cape Town 64-24 in their later game.

Coach Elsje Jordaan was able to give her full squad game time and to try out different combinations.

“I’m very happy with the start of our campaign. We can build on our success and work on things we need to improve. We hope to build up momentum for the rest of the week,” said Jordaan.

“We have a big game against Mangaung tomorrow and that will give me a chance to see how the team responds to more pressure.”

Johannesburg captain Monique Reyneke-Meyer said she was very proud of her team.

“Everybody had a run and there is so much talent in the team. We can build on a good opening day and start preparing for the final, which is where we plan to be at the end of the week,” she said. 

Tshwane, the 2022 runners-up, had less to celebrate, losing 64-57 to Dr Kenneth Kaunda in their opening match. 

Coach Rozanne Matthyse was philosophical about the loss.

“A tournament isn’t won on the first day,” she said.

“If you lose, you can see where you are going wrong and work to improve things. If you win every game, you might become complacent and you are not necessarily aware of what you are doing wrong. We need to work on our combinations and the players need to connect more.”

“It’s back to the drawing board for us,” said Tshwane captain Alice Kennon. 

“We gave away too much possession. We know we are better than this and we will improve,”

Dr Kenneth Kaunda coach Elsunet du Plessis said it had been a hard game and the team had plenty to work on for future matches.

“The team performed well, and the players supported each other,” said Du Plessis.

“But we can and will play even better.”

Tshwane bounded back from their earlier setback by beating Nelson Mandela Bay 55-45.

In the final match of the day, Mangaung beat Cape Winelands 62-58 in a hard-fought match.

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