Madibaz Netball are in a tight spot after a 51-42 loss to the Free State Kovsies on Monday and will need to up the tempo in the next two games to secure a spot in the semifinals of the Varsity Netball tournament.
The Nelson Mandela University (NMU) side seemed to be getting back to their winning ways after an impressive 59-27 win against UJ on Sunday.
Having lost against the Johannesburg varsity team in the Ussa Games earlier this year, Madibaz pulled out all the stops to nab their biggest score margin in the tournament.
“We had a fantastic game against UJ, which we won by the biggest margin ever and this boosted our confidence,” coach Lana Krige said.
“The loss against Kovsies took its toll on the team’s morale, but it is important that we pick ourselves up and look forward to the next game.
“We were not outplayed by the Kovsies, but we made silly mistakes,” Krige said.
“Our execution and consistency to our game plan was under par and the result was disappointing, because there was a time when we had a close score margin.
“Our team was a lot faster and stronger on the court.
“It is a pity that our girls battled to gear themselves up for a win when they had a chance to,” she said.
The Madibaz are banking on their scoring machine, attacking winger Nolusindo Twani, to capitalise on turn-over ball going forward.
Twani had a brilliant game when they hosted Tuks on their home court last week, registering an 88% accuracy on her shots taken in the match.
The NMU side will need a win from either of their upcoming games against the NorthWest University (Pukke) or Stellenbosch (Maties) to guarantee a spot in the semifinals.
They will have a mountain to climb when they take on the strong Pukke side.
“The Pukke game is going to be a very difficult match for us, because they are a more physical side and their girls are much bigger than our team,” Krige said.
“They are a well-coached side and they will be bringing their physicality on the court.
“We are often underestimated by other teams and we will be sure to give them an element of surprise they won’t be anticipating.”
The Madibaz will once again have home-ground advantage when they host the Pukke at the NMU south campus on Monday, from 4.30pm.