Mangaung look to bounce back at National Champs

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MORGAN PIEK

Defending champions, Mangaung Metro, remain upbeat, despite their shock 41-37 loss to Boland on day two of the National Netball Championships in Cape Town.

The side from Bloemfontein won their first match of the day when they thumped Gauteng West 65-44.

They however fell short against the Bolanders during the afternoon match at the Bellville Velodrome, but captain Lauren-Lee Christians said it’s the seniors players responsibility to take charge during the building phase.

“We are not saying because we are a young team we are allowed to play like that, we are allowed to make mistakes,” said Christians.

“At the end of the day, we are the experienced players and we’ve got to keep their hopes up and that’s why we will remain positive,” added Christians on the young squad.

“We can’t harp on our three Proteas not being here, they are not here and we’re going to coupe without them,” said the skipper on Maryka Holsthauzen, Karla Mostert and Adele Niemand not being at the tournament.

Coach Burtha de Kock told Courant her team has to take the loss on the chin and learn from their mistakes.

“We can’t always rely on our experienced players when they are not available. It’s wonderful having then when they are available, but the younger players can only grow at a tournament like this,” said De Kock on the Proteas trio.

“I won’t call it a defeat per se, the most important thing is to remain positive after a loss, we did have the majority of the possession after all,” said De Kock about their shock loss.

“We perhaps need a shift in mindset a realise that we need to bring junior players along . Unfortunately it is a platform called growing phase and we need to give these youngsters an opportunity to play.

“The reality is however, that experience is worth its weight in gold, but we aren’t afraid of any of our opponents,” the coach concluded.

The girls from Bloemfontein face hosts Western Province at 10:00 this morning, before clash with Nelson Mandela Bay at 14:30 this afternoon.