Coach Burta de Kock was delighted with her Mangaung team’s performances in the round robin stage after they finished top of the standings in a tight contest, booking their place in the final against a fancied Tshwane outfit at the Spar National Netball Championships in Port Elizabeth.
Mangaung scored 162 goals in their last two round robin matches on Friday, played in tough conditions, to edge out Tshwane at the top of the log on goal average after both teams racked up 16 points.
They were set to meet in the final on Saturday.
“It could have gone either way and I’m very proud of the ladies,” De Kock said.
“It was a hard week for us coming out with the same team, with just two new sets of fresh legs from the USSA tournament (in Bloemfontein last week) and with four 19-year-old players in the team, I’m very proud.”
Her squad would need to regroup overnight and prepare for what was expected to be a tough clash against a Tshwane side which had entered the tournament as title favourites.
“We’ll need to keep ball in hand, finish off, be proud and be brave throughout the match,” De Kock said.
“We expect a hard game. The final is always hard, but at the end of the day we’ll just have to stick to the basics, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
While the Dr Kenneth Kaunda district team also finished on 16 points, they were edged into third place on goal average, and they were due to face Cape Winelands, who earned 12 points, in the third-place playoff over the weekend.