The Gauteng Jaguars welcomed back their Proteas goalshooter, Lenise Potgieter, with a emphatic 56-34 victory over the Kingdom Stars in their Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League match at the Ellis Park Indoor Arena on Saturday. Potgieter returned earlier this week from the United Kingdom, where she was playing in the English Super League.
The Stars started off very well, and for most of the first quarter, they traded goal for goal, with the Jaguars edging ahead 11-9 at the end of the quarter. After that, the Stars, playing as many Proteas as the Jaguars, seemed to lose focus and the Jaguars pulled away from them. By halftime, the Jaguars had a 26-18 lead, and they extended that as the match went on.
The Stars appeared rattled, particularly when goalkeeper Phumza Maweni, also a Protea, was warned for continuous contact. At the other end of the court, the Jaguars defensive team of Shadine van der Merwe and player of the match Jeanie Steyn succeeded in limiting the amount of ball the Stars’ shooters were getting in the circle.
Steyn said Potgieter’s return had been a confidence booster for the whole team.
“We started off a bit slowly, as we had to adjust to Lenise being back, but then it all came together,” she said.
Jaguars coach Jenny van Dyk was very happy.
“They kept their composure after a slow start, and they carried out what we have been practising,” she said.
Stars’ coach Marchelle Maroun said her team had many things to work on before the quarterfinals next week.
“They have a lot of learning to do. They need to develop their decision making, which often lets them down. BMT (big match temperament) – that’s what we need,” said Maroun.
Aloes – Baobabs
The Eastern Cape Aloes beat a vastly improved Limpopo Baobabs in the second match of the day. Although the Aloes held the lead throughout the game, the Baobabs looked more in control and more creative than the previous week, when they had a demoralizing 79-28 loss to the North West Flames.
Player of the match, the Baobabs wing attack, Sylvia Lebelo, said the team had come to a point where they just knew they had to do better.
“We set goals for ourselves and worked hard to reach those goals. We also listened better to what our coach. Cecilia Molokwane, was telling us, and we followed her instructions,” she said.
“The Baobabs played well,” said Aloes coach Des Neville.
“I think the weaker teams, who haven’t been able to practice during the week, have all improved during the tournament,” she said.
“I was pleased with my team’s intensity, which they maintained throughout the match. They are beginning to trust each other and to play as a team. Next year we will have to make sure that they get together more beforehand.”
Images: Chris Ricco