The Limpopo Boababs are off to a good start in the 2017 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League after beating Mpumalanga Sunbirds 42-37 in the opening match of the league hosted at the Durban University of Technology last Friday.
The team finished last in the 2016 campaign and had a lot to prove against the Sunbirds. Following their opponents scoring first the team went all out and midway through the first quarter went into the lead where they stayed for most of the match.
Although Sunbirds clawed their way back into the match in the second quarter and were just one goal behind 18-17 at half time the Baobabs again surged ahead in the third quarter. Although the Sunbirds outscored them 10-8 in the final quarter, the Baobabs had done enough to secure their victory. They were particularly effective in the Sunbirds’ circle, where they were able to steal a number of balls.
Baobabs coach, Dumisani Chauke was quoted in a press statement to have said that she had told her charges to make sure they win their own centre passes and anything else will be a bonus.“We also have a lot of new, young players who are hungry for success. No-one knows anything about them and so they are under no pressure.”
Sunbirds coach, Marlie Nel reportedly said she was disappointed that her team had been outplayed. “The Baobabs had a very good game, and we threw away a lot of balls,” she said.
“I have a number of new players and some of them were very jittery. But this is just the beginning of the tournament, and we will get better.” she added.
Story: Herbert Rachuene