Though she was delighted after her team stunned title favourites Tshwane with a convincing victory on Wednesday, Mangaung coach Berta de Kock said her players would need to stay grounded if they hoped to challenge for a place in the final this weekend at the Spar National Netball Championships.
Mangaung handed Tshwane their first defeat on day three of the annual tournament at Lotto Young Park, earning a 47-35 win and remaining in contention for a spot in the medal playoffs.
“It makes it much easier from a mental aspect, but it’s the work on court that counts, so it’s very important that we go back to the drawing board,” De Kock said.
“Everyone wants it and there’s a big job ahead, but we’re looking forward to it and I know the players can do it.”
Tshwane coach Jenny van Dyk credited their opponents for producing a superb performance, and while she admitted her players had not been at their best, she shouldered some of the responsibility for the rare defeat.
“To be fair to the team, I don’t think I really thought through the starting line-up I wanted against this specific team and I should have planned a little better,” Van Dyk said.
“But we had soft takes, our drives were not strong enough, we didn’t have precision in our passing and we didn’t quite see it coming.”
The Dr Kenneth Kaunda district outfit from North West and Cape Winelands were the only remaining unbeaten teams in the A-division heading into the fourth day of competition.
The Dr KK team topped the log with 14 points. Tshwane were on 12 points, while Winelands, Cape Town and Mangaung had bagged 10 points each, with all three teams holding matches in hand.
The top two sides in the round robin stage were set to compete in Saturday’s final.