Madibaz girls put loss aside

Shalom Khandanisa

NMMU's narrow defeat to UP-Tuks has strengthened their resolve to show what they are capable of in the rest of the Varsity Netball competition.

The Eastern Cape outfit suffered their first defeat of the tournament when they went down 45-44 to Tuks in Port Elizabeth on Monday, and their captain Dumisani Chauke believes the result would have been different if they had just a little more time.

"The game could have gone either way had there been an extra minute in last night's game," she said.

Although Tuks beat them convincingly at the USSA championships, this is a different NMMU side and Chauke said her team's mentality had changed completely after all the work they had put into preparing for Varsity Netball.

"The game was a tough one, more psychologically than physically. Tuks came out thinking it was going to be an easy game."

Chauke said although they had missed out on making it four consecutive wins at home, her side were determined to bounce back and reward their loyal fans.

The Madibaz face a tough assignment in their next game, with a trip to Potchefstroom to face the unbeaten NWU-Pukke in their first away game next Monday.

NWU-Pukke stretched their unbeaten Varsity Netball run to four games with a bonus-point 52-29 victory over Maties in Potchefstroom.

The log-leaders enjoyed the support of a sold-out crowd at the SANDF Kopanelo Hall, and they had no trouble dealing with the threat that the dangerous Maties outfit posed.

The home side got off to an assured start and built up an early advantage over their rivals from Stellenbosch to take a 13-5 lead into the first break. Maties did their utmost to fight their way back into the game and used their power play in a bid to get back into the running. However, they failed to take advantage, with the pressure applied by Pukke proving too much, and the side took a commanding 27-14 lead into the half-time break.

Maties made a determined start but they battled to make much headway as their hosts stretched their lead to 38-20 going into the final period.

That left Pukke needing 12 goals in the last quarter to secure the bonus point, and they had little trouble doing just that as Maties started to fall off the pace in the final stages of the match.