06 October 2022 | Story Jóhann Thormählen | Photo Hannes Naude/Asem Engage
UFS Varsity Netball
The University of the Free State will play against the North-West University in a Varsity Netball semi-final on Monday 10 October 2022. It will be a rematch of the last encounter between the sides. Photo: Hannes Naude/Asem Engage

It may not be the original script, but the University of the Free State (UFS) netball team can’t wait to play a Varsity Netball semi-final at home with students back on campus.

According to Ané Retief, the UFS captain, her side sees the unexpected good fortune as an honour and wants to make its loyal fans proud.

The Kovsies received a boost as the game against the North-West University (NWU) was moved to Bloemfontein.

It was scheduled for Potchefstroom but was moved due to semi-final venue constraints. The semi-final will take place in the Callie Human Centre on Monday 10 October 2022 at 17:00.

Although the Kovsies defeated the NWU in a thriller by 65-60 in the last league match in Bloemfontein on Monday (3 October 2022), they finished third on the log.

Stellenbosch University (SU) was first (34 points), NWU second (29), the UFS (27) third, and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) fourth (26). SU and UJ will play in the other semi-final in Stellenbosch on Monday 10 October 2022 at 19:00.


Grateful for opportunity

“It is a huge privilege to have the semi-final in the Callie, especially after we finished third on the log and it wasn’t supposed to work out that way,” says Retief.

The Kovsies played the third Varsity Netball bumper weekend at home during the university holiday. But this time their fellow students will be back on campus.

“The university is open again next week – the students will be back, and the Callie will hopefully be packed. We are looking forward to playing in front of all the supporters and the UFS students. And to play good netball for them.”

“The NWU will be sending buses with people, and we are expecting a big one.”


New game and fight

Although the semi-final is a rematch, Retief says the knockout rounds are like a new competition.

“It is back to zero and the work starts over. Things can go either way.”

According to her, the UFS doesn’t have an edge because of the previous result.

“Sometimes the underdog will come through stronger, and in another game the team on top may have an off day.”

“The semi-final is a new game and a new fight. On the day, it will be who plays the best.”

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