The Southern Stings were brought back to earth with a bump on Sunday when the North West Flames beat them 52-35 in their Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League match at the Pretoria University Sports Centre. The game was won and lost in the first quarter. The Flames took control in the very early stages and by the end of the quarter had a substantial 17-6 lead.
Although the Stings came back in the second quarter, which they won by one goal, the Flames had done enough to ensure that their opponents were always on the back foot. The half-time score was 27-17, and both teams scored 11 goals in the third quarter. Flames coach Dorette Badenhorst said she had always known it was going to be a tough match.
She thought the Flames could win, but the margin was bigger than she had expected. Badenhorst says: ‘They have three Proteas in their team, and they are a fairly settled team. I told my players that they had to really go for it in the first five minutes and make sure they established a good lead. The Stings came back in the middle of the game, but I knew we had done enough to beat them. Elsunet Du Plessis had a very good game at goal attack, and the wing attack, Nadia Uys, is a very good driver of the game. She has agility in a small space, and also has the ability to slow things down when necessary.’ Stings coach Marlene Wagner was philosophical about the defeat, saying: ‘We were outplayed by the better team, and it will be back to the drawing board for us. We made a lot of unnecessary mistakes, and our passing was not good. We also had too many penalties in the circle.’
The Stings will be without their three Proteas, Mari-Lena Joubert, Rochelle Lawson and Phumza Maweni, next week, as they will be playing for South Africa in the European Championships in Northern Ireland. Wagner said other teams would also be affected, and she would make sure the Stings played to their full potential: ‘Perhaps I’ll bring along some surprises.’
Photo by: Reg Caldecott/SASPA