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All to play for as Maties and NWU battle it out for the 2022 Varsity Netball crown


The 2022 Varsity Netball final will see Maties and NWU take to the court on Monday night in Stellenbosch.


It is only fitting that these two teams will battle it out for bragging rights as they finished top of the log after the round-robin stage of this year’s tournament. For the second consecutive year, Maties have made it the only undefeated team while NWU’s only two losses came against Maties in round 5 (51-56) and Kovsies in round 7 (60-65).


Warmups and prematch photos of the the Semi-Final of the Varsity Netball between the FNB UFS Kovsies and FNB NWU at Callie Human Hall in Bloemfontein. 10 October 2022, Asem Engage – Hannes Naude

On Monday night, Maties won a titanic semi-final battle against UJ (43-35) in Stellenbosch and it was the same for NWU who edged out defending champions Kovsies (64-61) in the other semi-final in Bloemfontein.

Looking at the Varsity Netball history between Maties and NWU, this year’s final is building up to be an epic affair. The two teams have clashed on 11 occasions since 2013, with the NWU slightly ahead, 6-5.

The Potchefstroom team won their first Varsity Netball title in 2015 when they beat their opponents from Stellenbosch 50-37 in the final. In 2016, NWU were victorious in the teams’ semi-final clash (61-50) and went on to win their second title with a single-point victory over Tuks (56-55).

While NWU has managed to grab two titles from their four previous final appearances, Maties have yet to be crowned the champions after making it to the final two in 2015, 2019 and 2021. The Maroon Machine have however managed to clip the Eagles’ wings in their last four Varsity Netball meetings (2018 – Maties 69 NWU 36; 2019 – Maties 54 NWU 38; 2021 – Maties 71 NWU 60; 2022 – Maties 56 NWU 51).


This is what the respective coaches told Varsity Sports about their preparations for Monday’s final:


NWU coach Elsunet du Plessis: “Everything has been going great. There are a couple of aspects of our play we have been working on and fine-tuning, especially on attack and defence.”


Maties coach Zanele Mdodana: “Our preparations have been going well and we are focusing on the task at the moment. We are truly honoured to play in front of our home crowd, we have the best supporters.”


Varsity Netball history: NWU

2013 – Undefeated in round-robin stages; lost in final against Kovsies

2014 – Lost in the semi-final against Kovsies

2015 – Beat Maties in the final 50-37

2016 – Beat Tuks in final 56-55

2017 – Lost against Tuks in final

2018 – Finished 5th on the log

2019 – Lost against Tuks in the semi-final

2021 – Lost against Kovsies in the semi-final; lost against Tuks in 3/4th playoff

Elmere van den Berg of NWU during the Semi-Final of the Varsity Netball between the FNB UFS Kovsies and FNB NWU at Callie Human Hall in Bloemfontein. 10 October 2022, Asem Engage – Hannes Naude

Varsity Netball history: Maties

2013 – Finished 6th on the log

2014 – Lost in the semi-final against Tuks

2015 – Lost against NWU in final 37-50

2016 – Lost in the semi-final against NWU

2017 – Lost in the semi-final against Tuks

2018 – Lost in the semi-final against Kovsies

2019 – Lost in final against Tuks 43-48

2021 – Lost in final against Kovsies 39-55

Nichole Taljaard of FNB Maties during round 6 of the Varsity Netball between the FNB Maties and FNB UWC at Callie Human Hall in Bloemfontein. 3 October 2022, Asem Engage – Hannes Naude

FINAL – 17 October – Stellenbosch

*Final will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

By Liryn de Jager

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