Defending champs determined to bounce back

Xandri Fourie of the University of the Free State in their Varsity Netball round three clash against UJ. PHOTO: CATHRINE KOTZE/ VARSITY SPORTS

The University of the Free State Kovsies are determined to bounce back in the upcoming rounds of the 2022 Varsity Netball. The defending champions had a disappointing first three rounds in Pretoria where they lost two of their first three games at the Rembrandt Hall.

The four-time champions started well with their new-look squad and recorded a convincing 65-43 win over UWC in the first round on Saturday. During round two on Sunday, Maties beat Kovsies 57-53 for their first defeat of the campaign, before being stunned by UJ with a 54-43 defeat on Monday night during the third round.

The two defeats saw Kovsies drop to fifth in the standings and their road to reaching another semi-final has been made that much tougher, considering they still have to face the unbeaten North-West University and the University of Pretoria Tuks.

The captain of Kovsies, Ané Retief, told Bloemfontein Courant that it’s far from panic stations for the team and now it’s a matter of how they can pick themselves up and move forward.

“In the first three rounds of the Varsity Netball played in Pretoria – where we played against UWC, Maties, and UJ – it did not go the way that we wanted. We are not satisfied with our performance that we put up there.

“It’s not necessarily a bad thing having your weaknesses exposed in the first rounds.
With the Varsity Netball being played over three or four weekends, you have the ability to return home, put in your training sessions, take a look at where you’ve gone wrong, sharpen the blades and come up with a new plan of attack going into the next games.

“We are extremely excited about the new games and we are also glad that we have been shown where we lack a little bit and where we can improve. We can really put up a change in our performance and deliver quality netball for the spectators and our opponents. It’s a tight competition and there are really tough teams to face out there.

“We are really looking forward to going out there and showcasing our best netball.”

Rounds 4 and 5 will be played in Potchefstroom on Sunday and Monday at the NWU Amphitheatre. Kovsies will face the Madibaz on 13:00 on Sunday, while on Monday at 17:00 it’s the big one when they go up against Tuks. – MORGAN PIEK