The unbeaten Gauteng Jaguars face a tough encounter against the Eastern Aloes outfit with everything to prove in the battle of first and last in Division 1 of the Brutal fruit Netball Cup this coming weekend. The league leaders who play a double header on Saturday will be wary of being complacent in their second match of the day when the face the North West Flames who lost to them by just one point in when they met in Round 1. The Jaguars beat the Aloes by a 10 point margin in the Round 1 battle and will be confident of taking all the points.
The second-placed Free State Crinums will also want to extend the gap between themselves and the chasing pack and face a banana peel encounter against the Flames on Saturday and the Fireballs on Sunday. Any slip and the Crinums will find themselves locked in a titanic struggle with at least two other teams for a place in the Division 1 final. The Potchefstroom’s Flames, know that they need to find the cutting edge having lost three of their four matches by a single point.
They will be desperate for maximum points to give themselves a platform to lay down a marker as title challengers but they face the leagues two strongest teams thus far in the Jaguars and the Crinums. Meanwhile the Aloes who are wondering what they have to do to get a win won’t have it easy when they face both Gauteng teams. The Aloes occupy last place on the Division 1 log, and are yet to register a win having gone down to the Jaguars by 10 points when they met in Round 1.
On Sunday they face third-placed Golden Fireballs who showed signs of finding their form when they beat the North West Flames last week. With four games to go it’s now or never for the Aloes if they want to make it into the finals and their next two game are must-win encounters. In the Division 2, match of the weekend the Southern Stings face much stiffer contest in the second match of the day against the Kingdom Stars in the afternoon.
The Stars will want to exact revenge on the Cape Town-based team after going down to them in Round 1 and know that they must win this one if they have any hopes winning the group and a place in the battle for promotion. By the time that game start, the Stings will likely have inflicted another crushing performance against the Sunbirds whom they beat by more than 57 points in round 1. In the other potentially mouth-watering encounter the Stars come up against the Northern Cape Diamonds who could still play kingmaker in the division.
They have played some very good netball so far and will want to build on their performance in round 1. For the Sunbirds and Limpopo Baobabs it will be another weekend of building as they look to offset another round of heavy defeats. The two teams do face each other, however, which will make the weekend considerably brighter for at least one of them – with the Baobabs winning the first round encounter convincingly.