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Johannesburg eager for rematch against Tshwane at netball champs

Though both teams still need to negotiate their way through the semifinals, Johannesburg coach Elsje Jordaan believes her team will be ready to give title favourites Tshwane a battle if this weekend’s final comes down to a Gauteng derby at the Spar National Netball Championships in Potchefstroom.

After winning three SA titles in succession, Tshwane missed out on last year’s national championships due to positive Covid tests in their squad.

They picked up where they left off this week, however, going unbeaten in the round robin phase of the domestic showpiece.

Johannesburg, meanwhile, picked up five wins from their six round robin matches to finish second in the standings, falling in a narrow 34-32 defeat to Tshwane in their only loss.

In Friday’s semifinals, Tshwane will face Mangaung and Johannesburg will meet hosts Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

“We’re focussing now on the semifinal. We just want to get through that and not think too far ahead,” Jordaan said.

“If we do get into the final, we expect it will be against them and we will definitely look forward to that game.

“Earlier in the week I thought we had a good game against them. We didn’t lose our opportunities, our error rating was just way too high, so it was all mistakes due to ourselves although they applied good pressure..

“Gauteng derbies are always exciting and there’s a lot of pride at stake, so hopefully we’ll have a rematch against them.”

Defending champions Cape Winelands, who won the title last year in the absence of some of the country’s top teams, crashed out ahead of the playoffs after picking up only two wins in the round robin phase, including a technical victory over Buffalo City.

Falling short of racial targets by not including enough white players in their team, Buffalo City had to win their matches by at least six points to give themselves a chance, and they finished bottom of the log.

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