Jaguars still on top of the log in the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League

With just two games remaining in the league phase of the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League, the Jaguars of Pretoria is firmly positioned in first place on the log.

The Jaguars have so far lost only one of their seven games, while two matches remain before the semi-finals will be played.

The Southern Stings suffered their first defeat in this year’s tournament when the Jaguars came back from a four goal deficit at halftime to beat the Western Cape side 46-42 last weekend.

The match was played in front of a packed stand at the Bellville Velodrome, with the partisan crowd cheering every goal, intercept and turnover by the home side. For the first five minutes, goals went with centre passes, but then the Stings scored a string of unanswered goals and slowly pulled away. At halftime, they were 24-20 ahead and appeared set to maintain their unbeaten record.

However, the Jaguars stormed back in the second half. Within five minutes, they had levelled the scores on 25-all, and three minutes later, they took the lead for the first time. The match was played at a frenetic pace, and there were so many tumbles that at times, it looked more like a rugby match, with players sprawled on the floor.

Both sides achieved breathtaking intercepts and the defence was outstanding in both circles.

Jaguars coach Jenny van Dyk was jubilant.

“I told them at halftime that if they wanted to hand the match to the Stings on a plate, that was their choice. If they wanted to win, they had to work for it. It was the first match where we didn’t have the player of the match, and that tells me that it was a real team effort,” said Van Dyk.

Stings coach Annelie Lucas said her team was exactly where she wanted them to be.

“Last time we won all our matches until the knockout stages. Losing this match could be a good thing – they will work even harder now,” said Lucas.

The Jaguars will this weekend play against the KwaZulu Natal Kingdom Stars in their penultimate game in the league phase.

 

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