With only two weeks left in the Varsity Netball tournament, Monday promises a nail biting event with everything on the line as the semi-finals kick off. There can be only one champion and these deciders will showcase the cream of the crop as they fight it out to claim the title for their own.
This year’s competition has proven a testament to the abundance of skill and talent at university level, with games having been highly contested and offering a great deal of spectator value.
Both of last year’s finalists will be at it again in the first of the semi-finals, taking place at the University of the Free State. North West University’s NWU-Pukke will take on Kovies on their home court in what’s sure to be as close a game as the final last year. These two teams finished with the only draw of the season in their group stages match against each other, and will have to bring their all to progress to the final stage of the competition. Expect to see a hard-fought game, with the favourite being anyone’s guess.
The second semi-final is a David and Goliath affair, with top-of-the-log and unbeaten Pretoria side UP-Tuks hosting the underdogs of this year’s tournament, Stellenbosch’s Maties. UP-Tuks has had a tremendous season to date, so the pressure will really be on to keep their unbeaten record intact. Maties, meanwhile, will have nothing to lose and everything to gain. After a shaky start they found their form, and they’ve shown throughout tournament that they’re not a team to be scoffed at and are definitely capable of giving their hosts a solid run for their money. Don’t write off this match as a one-sided affair, as Maties have shown a great deal of resilience and determination to make it this far.
Adding exhilaration to the fixtures is the ‘Power Play’ game, where the best players can pit themselves against their peers. The games, which are sponsored by Samsung, FNB, Cell C, Legit and Wimpy, are accompanied by music, DJs, MCs, cheerleaders and mascots, sponsor giveaways, smoke machines, laser lights and much more.
The matches take place on Monday 13 October at the University of the Free State at 17:30 and in the UP-Tuks Rembrandt Hall at 18:45, respectively. The Varsity Netball tournament has a five-year exclusive broadcasting agreement with SuperSport, with matches aired each Sunday and Monday on Channel 208 or 210.