Epic netball clashes on cards

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Johannesburg - The Netball Cup enters its second week of competition and will feature a highly anticipated Gauteng derby at the University of Pretoria sports complex this weekend.

The clash will see the Jaguars taking on the Golden Fireballs.

The two teams - counted among the favourites in division one - recorded mixed fortunes at the weekend.

The Jaguars surprised everyone by winning their opening two matches beating the powerhouse teams of North West Flames and the Eastern Cape Aloes.

Jaguars goal shooter Melissa Myburgh will be the main target while Proteas premier goal shooter Chrisna van Zyl (formerly Bootha) will want to stamp her authority on the competition.

“It's a difficult one to call as the teams are evenly matched. It will come down to tactics on the day,” said Netball South Africa chief executive Blanche de la Guerre.

“The matches so far, especially in division one, have gone down to the wire and we certainly expect more of the same.”

On Sunday, the unbeaten Crinums take on the table-topping Jaguars. Both teams were nearly flawless on opening weekend and whoever edges this encounter will surely be considered a title favourite.

The Crinums' Proteas defensive pair of Karla Mostert and Adele Niemand was superb during week one and will be well aware of the threat posed by their national team colleagues Myburgh and Lindie Lombard.

The Crinums, who also recorded an opening weekend double win, face the Eastern Cape Aloes, who go in search of their first win and a vital two points to keep up with the league's pacesetters.

Aloes' Proteas star Zanele Mdodana said her team would improve as the tournament went on.

“It's important that we improve on our performances from last week,” she said.

While we did some things right we made a lot of unforced errors which we need to correct. Some of our mistakes cost us dearly.”

The North West Flames will be searching for their first win of the campaign after they lost both their opening matches.

Coach Dorette Badenhorst believed that a win was around the corner.

“It was tough losing our opening two games by just one point but it shows you how intense the competition really is,” Badenhorst said.

“We are well aware that we must pick up a win or two this weekend to stay in the hunt for a semi-final place.

“Nevertheless we will take each quarter as it comes, set our goals and take it from there. We know it will be difficult as both the Aloes and Fireballs are very strong.”

Sapa


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