Game promises sparks as underdogs are also motivated to win

Jaguars favoured to devour Crinums in final

Marlize de Bruin of Gauteng Jaquars in Division 1 Semi-final 1 between Jaguars and Southern Stings.
Marlize de Bruin of Gauteng Jaquars in Division 1 Semi-final 1 between Jaguars and Southern Stings.
Image: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images

The Gauteng Jaguars are going into the Telkom Netball League final against Free State Crinums as overwhelming favourites. But the Crinums are happy to go into the grand finale at the Indoor Sports Centre in Mangaung, Free State, tonight (7pm) as the underdogs.

The Jaguars went through the final unbeaten in 11 matches, scoring an impressive 144 goals. The Crinums played the game of their lives when they edged the Gauteng Fireballs 38-37 in the second finals to book their place in the cup final.

The Jaguars are tipped to add a fifth title but if they underestimate the Crinums, they might return to Gauteng with a tail between their legs.

Crinums coach Burta de Kock enjoyed the end-to-end stuff against Fireballs but she is hoping to cause an upset against the defending champions. “We have a lot of youngsters in the team and for them to experience this feeling is amazing. This win makes me happy. We are truly blessed to play in the final against the tournament favourites,” said De Kock.

Spar Proteas assistant coach and Fireballs head coach Dumisani Chauke rued her team’s slow start but commended their valiant effort. “It was not our day but we reached our ultimate objective of making the semifinals. The game came down to the wire and that is what you want to see as a netball fan. Yes, we are disappointed in not making the final, but we are also proud of our fighting spirit,” said Chauke.

Jaguars coach Jenny van Dyk said her team’s hard work would count for nothing if they lose in the final. “We’ve come a long way to lose the decider. Our unbeaten run will count for nothing if we don’t win the final,” she said.

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