As expected, Johannesburg reached the final of the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships at Hoërskool Rustenburg with a 58-45 win over Cape Winelands in the first semifinal in Rustenburg, North West, South Africa on Friday, 6 October, 2023.
Johannesburg got off to an excellent start, winning the first quarter 16-9. They won the second quarter 18-11 to lead 34-20 at halftime.
Winelands began to fight back in the second half, losing the third quarter by just one goal and winning the final quarter 14-12. But it was too little too late and the defending champions made sure that they could fight to retain their title on Saturday.
Johannesburg Focus on Player Management
“I wanted a very good start, so that I could give all the players a run. They have all been playing throughout the week and I wanted them all to experience playing in a semifinal.Johannesburg Head Coach Elsje Jordaan
“There was a bit of a drop in concentration towards the end, but that can happen when you have a big lead.”
She said the intense heat in Rustenburg, where the temperature has been in the mid-30s, meant she had to manage her players well.
“Not many of them have played a full game – I have tried to take them off for at least five minutes to give them a chance to recover.
“We have used ice baths, nutrition and compression to help them to rehydrate and recover after matches. I think they are surprisingly fresh after a hard week,” said Jordaan.
Sweet Mangaung Revenge is a Finals Tickets
Mangaung got revenge for their defeat at the hands of Dr Kenneth Kaunda in the round robin section of the tournament, with a decisive 53-34 victory in the second semifinal on Friday.
The two teams were neck-and-neck for the first half of the match, and Mangaung had a slender 21-20 lead at halftime. But the Free State team started pulling away in the second half as the Dr Kenneth Kaunda shooters struggled to get the ball in the net.
Mangaung scored 16 goals in the third quarter, to five for the team from North West, and secured the crucial 10-goal lead (36-26) that made a Dr Kenneth Kaunda victory unlikely.
Mangaung then stepped up another gear, scoring 17 goals in the final quarter to eight for their opponents.
Coach Martha Mosoahle-Samm said the team had drawn strength from their draw with Johannesburg and their loss to Dr Kenneth Kaunda on Tuesday.
“You learn more from losing than from winning! If you win all the time, you might not see where you are going wrong, but losing helps you to identify problems.Mangaung Head Coach Martha Mosoahle-Samm
“We knew it was going to be a tough semifinal. They are a very good team. But we also knew what we had to do to beat them today.”
She expected a hard game against Johannesburg in the final.
“But we know we have to play right up to the end, and we believe we can win,” said Mosoahle-Samm.
The final will be played at 09h15 on Saturday morning.
In Friday’s age-group division, Tshwane won the Under-21 title, beating Mangaung 46-45 in a close fought match.
Tickets for the games will be available at the venue – R20 for adults and R10 for children. The Senior A final and play-off matches will be broadcast LIVE on SuperSport Variety 4/Channel 209 (7 October).
Main Photo Caption: Rochelle Rossouw of Cape Winelands and Monique Reyneke-Meyer of Johannesburg in action against Cape Town during day 5 of the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships. Johannesburg beat Cape Winelands 58-45 in the semi-finals played at the Hoërskool Rustenburg in North West Province on Friday, 6 October 2023. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 2 Caption: Nerine Koopman of Cape Winelands and Panashe Chiranga of Johannesburg fight for the ball during day 5 of the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships. Johannesburg beat Cape Winelands 58-45 in the semi-finals. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 3 Caption: Sian Moore of Cape Winelands shoots for goal as Monique Reyneke-Meyer of Johannesburg attempts to defend the ball during day 5 of the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships. Johannesburg beat Cape Winelands 58-45 in the semi-finals. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 4 Caption: Rolene Streutker of Mangaung in action against Sanmarie Visser (left) and Martine Jordaan of Dr Kenneth Kaunda during day 5 of the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships. Mangaung beat Dr Kenneth Kaunda 53-34 in the semi-finals. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott
Photo 5 Caption: Xandri Fourie of Mangaung in action against Martine Jordaan of Dr Kenneth Kaunda during day 5 of the 2023 SPAR National Netball Championships. Mangaung beat Dr Kenneth Kaunda 53-34 in the semi-finals played on Friday, 6 October 2023 at the Hoërskool Rustenburg in North West Province. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott