Bloemfontein - Western Cape Southern Stings are favourites to clinch the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League after their impressive run so far.
The Stings have won six of their seven games and the fourth-placed side went into this weekend’s matches two points behind log leaders Gauteng Golden Fireballs.
However, Stings’ coach Annelie Lucas is not getting ahead of herself as there is still a long way to go. Lucas said blending young and seasoned campaigners has worked well for them.
She said: “I have a lot of senior players and mentors in the team and this has helped us a lot,” referring to goalkeeper Phumza Maweni and vice-captain Juline Rossouw.
Lucas, who is in her second season, said her maiden season helped her to prepare better for this one.
“We focus on our strength and do our homework on our opponents to prepare adequately for every match", she said.
After six thrilling weeks in Durban and Cape Town, the matches have moved to Mangaung Sports Complex in Bloemfontein for play-offs.
Stings will take on North West Flames, who have also lost once so far, while the Eastern Cape Aloes will take on Limpopo Baobabs. Lucas, who does not underestimate the North West team, was impressed by the Flames’ play and team balance.
“They are a good side – their defenders are doing very well and their shooters are accurate”.
Very strong contenders
But she believes that, if her players come to the party, victory is certain.
“Phumza will be key to us as she has shown growth in every game. If everyone plays according to their abilities, we will be very strong contenders to win the match”.
Stings lost last season’s semifinals to the Flames.