NWU and UJ are heading into Monday’s semi-final clash on pretty even terms if one looks at their performances in the 2023 Varsity Netball competition. The match will start at 17:00 at the UJ Imbizo Hall Soweto Campus.
The students from Potchefstroom only lost to log leaders UP-Tuks in their last match (52-67) while UJ’s only defeats came against their semi-final opposition (43-47) and Tuks (53-58) at the start of the tournament.
NWU won back-to-back Varsity Netball titles in 2015 and 2016 while the Orange Army’s best finish to date was their appearance in last year’s semi-final.
NWU coach Elsunet du Plessis says she’s under no illusion about what waits for them against UJ.
“We are very excited to play in the semi-final and know it will be a highly contested game. We will be working on a few things but mostly we will focus on attack and getting the ball safely to the circle. I think the main threat from UJ is their circle, especially on defence.”
UJ is coached by Bongi Msomi who captained the Proteas at the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town. At the start of the Varsity Netball tournament, she indicated that her team was ready for whatever the will competition would bring.
“Our expectations for the tournament is to play and to use the opportunity to grow on and off the court as a group as well as compete against good teams. We want to play good netball.”
She also alluded to the importance of Varsity Netball for the national system.
“The high performance system at varsity level helps with the thorough preparations of athletes on and off the court which plays a huge role in developing elite athletes. Games are also broadcast which is similar to what happens at the national level. It also helps athletes to be part of continuous selections and trials.”