Locked on a collision course with defending champions Tshwane once again, coach Elsje Jordaan is confident her Dr Kenneth Kaunda team can topple the title holders at the Spar National Netball Championships.
Aiming for their third straight title, Tshwane displayed good form over the first two days of competition in Bela Bela, earning a 67-13 victory over Ekurhuleni before beating Cape Town 64-18.
The Dr KK side, who were edged by Tshwane in last year’s final, also got off to a promising start at the six-day championships, securing a 34-31 win over Johannesburg on Monday and a 50-18 triumph over Cape Town on Tuesday.
With a potential final between the two teams on the cards this weekend, Tshwane and Dr KK were expected to make a point in their pool game on Wednesday, which could be a dress rehearsal for the trophy battle.
“They are the defending champions, and winning is a culture, as is losing,” Jordaan said.
“Last year we almost had a perfect week building to the final, and then we got into the final and we couldn’t finish it off.
“So you need to play finals, and then you need to learn how to win those finals.
“They are a few years ahead of us, but we’re learning and we’re ready for the challenge.”
With each district bringing a different dynamic in terms of style, Jordaan felt the A division was less diverse after a few squads withdrew ahead of the event for various reasons, including Covid-19 restrictions being enforced by the Eastern Cape provincial government.
While she was pleased to have a chance for her players to return to the court after a season which had been severely disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Jordaan admitted she was also frustrated by a shortage of matches, with only five teams competing in the A division.
“It’s disappointing to play only one game a day,” Jordaan said. “But it’s been a difficult year and it is what it is.”