Dr Kenneth Kaunda (Potchefstroom) coach Elsje Jordaan has come out in support of the new format of the SPAR national netball championships, which are being played on a district, rather than a provincial basis.
Jordaan was speaking after her team beat Mangaung Metro 59-37 on the second day of the tournament at Young Park.
“Yes, there have been some lopsided results, but we have to expose as many players as possible to the top level of netball in South Africa,” she said.
“There are pros and cons on both sides, but if you want to build depth, this is the way to go. There are more players, more teams and more games,” she said.
The 2018 national championships are the biggest ever held in South Africa, with more than a thousand players taking part in the senior and under-21 tournaments.
Jordaan said she had been surprised by the extent of her team’s victory over what was essentially the Free State Crinums.
“I expected a tougher game, but we started very well and kept going from there. Since the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League we have been focussing on converting turnovers, starting well and playing positive netball.
“A big win like that will give the players confidence for their crucial matches against Tshwane and Cape Winelands on Thursday.”
Jordaan said matches against the weaker teams gave her the opportunity to play all her bench players.
“I don’t want them to become arrogant, and I have warned them they need to stay humble and to respect the game. When we play the weaker teams, we focus on our own targets for each quarter. I certainly don’t want them to start chasing a hundred goals, but to focus on playing good netball,” she said.
In their earlier matches, Dr Kenneth Kaunda beat Bojanale (Rustenburg) 103-23 and Mangaung beat Ehlanzeni 75-17.
Defending champions Tshwane and Cape Winelands continued their dominance, with big victories over some of the weaker teams. Tshwane beat Gert Sibande (Ermelo) 82-20 and Nelson Mandela Bay 63-23. Cape Winelands beat the struggling Saran Baartman (Kimberley) by a massive 104 to three, and Gert Sibande 73-27.
In other matches, Nelson Mandela Bay beat Nkangala (Middelburg) 49-37. Cape Town beat Ehlanzeni (Nelspruit) 76-14 and Nkangala achieved their first victory, beating Sarah Baartman 65-30.
photo credit Reg Caldicott