Aloes aim to fight back in top series

EASTERN Cape netball side the Aloes are determined to up their game when they travel to Gauteng for the second round of the Brutal Fruit Netball Cup tournament to be held at the University of Pretoria over the weekend.

After losing their first two high-powered encounters this past weekend, Aloes will play their next games against Free State Crinums and North West Flames on Saturday.

And head coach Maryka Allaway believes the team have the ability to bounce right back.

The team were narrowly beaten 43-39 by Gauteng side the Golden Fireballs in the first match.

The Jaguars from Gauteng North defeated the only Eastern Cape team in the tournament 52-40 in the second game.

"We take each game one step at the time and I was happy to see the way the players were so determined and working hard to win. Both games were tough," Allaway said.

"We have experienced players in our team but the girls need match fitness."

Allaway says they will have to work hard on their attacking positions and on getting the ball through to the shooters.

"We are playing against teams with players from the Proteas and the SA under-21 squads, so we've got to work on our plans to come back. It's going to be tough but we've got a chance to take both of our next games."

The Aloes comprise top players from Port Elizabeth, East London, Grahamstown and King William's Town. They include former Proteas captain Zanele Mdodana and Zukelwa Cwaba, Dumisani Chauke and Zanele Vimbela.

Mdodana said: "It is just the beginning of the tournament and in no way is it over yet for us as we have enough time to improve.

"We still have to gel as a team.

"We'll definitely keep improving and become a force to be reckon with."

The highly anticipated semiprofessional netball league incorporate 10 teams from all nine provinces and it will be played over six weeks.

All matches are being staged in the Rembrandt Hall at the University of Pretoria. - Mthetho Ndoni