Three-time champions, Kovsies, received a hearty reception at the Callie Human, before Tuks gave them anything but to gain a semblance of revenge for the 2018 Varsity Netball final at the same venue on Monday, 26 August.
Despite getting their 2019 Varsity Netball campaign off to an excellent start after turning the first centre pass that was converted by none other than their captain, Lefébre Rademan, Kovsies found themselves trailing by seven goals early in the first quarter.
With five minutes left in the quarter, the first Powerplay was called by the visitors. Tuks capitalised, taking their lead to 17-10, and with just over a minute left in the first quarter, extended that lead to 10 goals, leaving the first quarter score at 22-12.
The home side got off to a better start in the second quarter after making a couple of changes. This saw Ancia Pienaar taking on the role of goalkeeper with Chanel Vrey moving to goal defence, and Oageng Khasake replacing Bianca de Wee at wing attack.
Despite an early caution given to the Tuks captain Tshina Mdau, the visitors bagged the first two goals of the second quarter.
With Tuks slowly extending their lead, Kovsies coach Burta de Kock made a host of changes with less than five minutes left in the first half. This saw Rieze Straeuli come on in the goal shooter position, de Wee back on at wing defence, and Khanyisa Chawane and Sne Mdletshe switching the center and wing attack bibs. With a convincing lead Tuks ended the first quarter 34-20.
Kovsies Showed Much Improvement in the Final 15 Minutes
Kovsies kicked off the second half with more changes. This saw Rolene Streutker and Jana Scholtz back on goal shooter and goal defence, respectively.
Heavy Tuks defence saw the Kovsies, unfamiliarly, losing the ball in a couple of three-second calls, as the Pretoria side drew further ahead to lead with 20 goals. With five minutes left in the third quarter, Rademan was replaced at goal attack by Meagan Roux who returns from an ACL injury she sustained in the 2018 Varsity Netball semi-final. Tuks ended the third quarter well, with a 24-goal lead, at 52-28.
The start of the final quarter saw changes from both sides. In the Kovsies camp, goal shooter position was filled by Roux, with Rademan back in the goal attack position, and Vrey at goalkeeper. On the Tuks side, the center bib was taken over by Anique Grobler. Further changes saw Danielle van Zyl replacing Chantelle Swart at goal attack.
The Kovsies side showed much improvement in the final 15 minutes and had a much more closely contended quarter. With five minutes left, the home side called for their Powerplay which they used well, taking the score to 35-58.
Although the home side ended strong, it was not to be, with the final score standing at 63-42 – serving notice of their credentials.
Kovsies 42 Tuks 63
FNB Player of the Match: Tshina Mdau (Tuks)
Wimpy Moment Maker: Venetia Grobler (Tuks)
MTN Interceptor of the Match: Akosua Mensah (Tuks)
Khanyisa Chawane (vice-captain)
Bianca de Wee
Lefébre Rademan (captain)
Coach: Burta de Kock
Marlize de Bruin (vice-captain)
Tshina Mdau (captain)
Jamie van Wyk
Danielle van Zyl
Coach: Jenny van Dyk
Photo 1 Caption: Tuks produced a top performance in their opening Varsity Netball season fixture against Kovisies at the Callie Human, beating their opponents 63-42 on Monday, 26 August. Photo: Supplied
With editing by gsport