'We were the best in the tourney'

Jaguars coach hails players for winning Telkom Netball League crown

Bongiwe Msomi of Golden Fireballs
Bongiwe Msomi of Golden Fireballs
Image: Frikkie Kapp/Gallo Images

After two weeks of non-stop action, the seventh edition of the Telkom Netball League came to an exciting end with Gauteng Jaguars lifting their fourth successive domestic title. Thirteen teams gathered under the same roof at the Indoor Sports Centre in Mangaung, Free State, to compete for top honours.

But the Northern Gauteng Jaguars reigned supreme in the bio-bubble following a pulsating 38-26 victory over the Free State Crinums in the grand finale on Tuesday night.

The Jaguars finished the tournament unbeaten in 13 matches and have the honour of being the only team to have played in all the seven cup finals. Jaguars collected a trophy and gold medals for being the best team in the country, followed by home side Crinums taking silver, and Gauteng Fireballs won bronze medals.

Bongiwe Msomi of Fireballs won the best centre award; Nicola Smith of Southern Stings took the best defense accolade; while Lefebre Rademan of Jaguars won the best shooter gong. Izette Griesel of Jaguars got the player of the tournament award.

The players used the bio-bubble opportunity to impress the Spar Proteas national team selectors. South Africa will host the International Netball Federation World Cup in Cape Town in 2023.

Proteas and Fireballs skipper Msomi said she was happy with her team’s third-place finish. “It has been a wonderful tournament for us, and every player that stepped onto the court enjoyed themselves. We experienced everything in the two weeks, injuries, wins, losses, and other challenges. When you play for the Proteas, everyone expects you to be on top of your game. They expected my team to win the competition. I’m proud of the team and the coach, and we are looking forward to the future,” said Msomi.

Jaguars coach Jenny van Dyk, who has been a part of all their seven finals, showered her team with praise. “We were the best team in the tournament and finished it without injuries. We gave it our all, and we are happy to go home with the title,” said Van Dyk.

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