UP-Tuks continued the trend set over the previous four years in Varsity Netball when they defeated the Kovsies by 53-43 in the Callie Human Centre in Bloemfontein on Sunday afternoon.
In the six matches played between Tuks and Kovsies, none of them have been won by the home team.
Kovsies had their chances, but overall it was a much more clinical performance by the students from Pretoria, who earned themselves a bonus point (for 50 or more goals) and denied Kovsies any.
The match was played at a frenetic pace and although there were a number of unforced errors, it was a good advertisement for the competition.
The biggest difference was in the shooting circle where 19-year-old Chanté Louw had a cracker at goal shooter for Tuks. She slotted every single goal for her team (50 out of 57 attempts with three of them counting double in the power play). This is something very rare in netball. Louw earned herself the Samsung Best Shot award – a new award installed this year for the best shooter on court. Both she and her goal attack, Anique Grobler, are first-year students.
The Kovsie defenders Ané Retief (goal keeper) and Tanya Mostert (goal defence) found the going tough containing the 1.89m Louw.
Tuks seemed that much more organised on attack with both Marlize de Bruin (centre) and Tshina Mdau (wing attack) in red-hot form feeding Louw.
Despite missing one or two easy shots, Louw looked as though she’d been playing at Varsity Netball level for many a year.
The Kovsies, in comparison, didn’t settle on a combination with Rieze Straeuli and Meagan Roux playing wing attack, Marna Claassens, Straeuli and Roux altering on goal attack and Alicia Puren new at goal shooter having played goal keeper up until recently.
Communication in particular seemed to be a problem.
Tuks had a brilliant second quarter in which they overturned an 8-12 deficit into a 24-20 lead. They seemed to be in control leading 30-24 midway through the third quarter, but a good period of play including the first power play, enabled the home team to draw level at 34 all.
But a number of basic errors and shots not falling denied the home team any celebrations.
Shadine van der Merwe, captain of Tuks and last year’s Player of the Series, received the FNB Player of the Match.
FNB Player of the Match: Shadine van der Merwe (Tuks)
Samsung Best Shot: Chanté Louw (Tuks)
Kovsies: Alicia Puren, Tanya Mostert, Khomotso Mamburu, Marna Claassens, Ané Retief, Khanyisa Chawane, Rieze Straeuli, Maryke Coetzee, Gertriana Retief, Bethenie du Raan, Meagan Roux, Sikholiwe Mdletshe
Tuks: Chante Louw, Dune Streutker, Rumandi Potgieter, Jeanette Vermeulen, Anique Grobler, Marlize de Bruin, Tshina Mdau, Akosua Mensah, Lungile Mthembu, Shadine vd Merwe, Juzelri Garbers, Jasmine Ziegelmeier