Jaguars to pounce in semi-fi­nal

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - SEANOKENG MOLOSANKWE

AF­TER SEVEN weeks of ex­cit­ing net­ball the Bru­tal Fruit Net­ball Premier League will come to an end on Sun­day in Bloem­fontein.

Who will be the queens of the court? Gaut­eng Jaguars will face one of the stronger teams this sea­son, the Western Cape South­ern St­ings, in the first semi-fi­nal at Man­gaung In­door Sports Cen­tre. Tip-off is at 4pm and at 6pm the Gaut­eng Fire­balls will bat­tle it out with the North West Flames in the sec­ond semi at the same venue.

Jaguars vice-cap­tain Tshina Mu­dau is look­ing for­ward to to­mor­row’s semi-fi­nal and is hop­ing her team are up for the bat­tle for a spot in the fi­nal and a pos­si­ble ti­tle af­ter Free State Crinums dom­i­nated the league for the past three sea­sons.

“I think there’s pres­sure on all four teams. We don’t feel ex­cluded or ex­empt from the pres­sure that comes with be­ing in the semi-fi­nals. We want to make the fi­nal and make the out­come com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the past three. We def­i­nitely want the fi­nal and con­sider our­selves cham­pi­ons al­ready,” she said.

The Jaguars have lost only one game this sea­son.

Mu­dau said fac­ing the South­ern Sit­ngs won’t be an easy task as the Cape team have many ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

“All the teams have been very strong this year and the South­ern St­ings them­selves have so many Proteas play­ers. We are try­ing to take it game by game.

“Ba­si­cally... each in­di­vid­ual has to fo­cus on their (di­rect) op­po­nent. They are fierce as a team be­cause they are so ex­pe­ri­enced, but if we can tar­get them in­di­vid­u­ally, and break (their team­work), we can beat them,” said the 23-year-old who also plays for UP Tuks.

The Flames against the Fire­balls will be an in­ter­est­ing match as the North West side will be seek­ing re­venge af­ter los­ing 48-44 against the Fire­balls on the first week­end of the tour­na­ment.

“It’s def­i­nitely go­ing to be a bru­tal game, es­pe­cially af­ter we lost to them the first week­end.” said Flames cap­tain Chante Bester.

“But I think we are pre­par­ing very well. We are look­ing at the pre­vi­ous games...at the mis­takes we’ve made through­out the tour­na­ment and how to cor­rect them,” added Bester

“It’s never nice los­ing. It’s never a nice feel­ing. We used that just to mo­ti­vate us. We can’t go into the tour­na­ment think­ing ‘You got this,’ be­fore you’ve ac­tu­ally played the game.

“So we mo­ti­vated our­selves to work harder, train harder, work as a team and just to play un­til that last whis­tle blows,” she added.

The win­ner of the tour­na­ment will travel to New Zealand later this month, to take part in their club cham­pi­onship. They will play from July 2 to 7.

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