Maintaining an unbeaten record throughout the tournament, Tuks emerged as 2023 Varsity Netball champions in front of a captivating and enthusiastic home crowd at Rembrandt Hall in Pretoria on Monday, 18 September.
A hard fought 63-61 victory in extra time over University of Johannesburg, Tuks secured their third Varsity Netball title under the guidance of Coach Jenny van Dyk – they previously clinched the prestigious crown back in 2019.
The match began as a tightly contested defensive battle, with UJ making an impressive start in the first five minutes of the opening quarter. However, UP gradually asserted their strength, leading to an intense back-and-forth final, as anticipated, with the advantage shifting between the teams multiple times.
The high stakes nature of the final was evident as both sides made several unforced errors. In the end, Tuks managed to finish the first quarter with a three-goal lead.
From that point onwards, the team in orange found themselves in a position of having to play catch-up, falling behind in both the second and third quarters.
The pivotal championship quarter brought excitement as the Bongi Msomi-coached UJ team mounted an impressive comeback.
With just four minutes remaining in the Varsity Netball final, they strategically invoked their power-play, narrowing the gap, and resulting in an exciting tie of 49-49.
With the score tied at 51-51 at the final whistle, the match proceeded to extra time, where UJ staged a remarkable comeback. However, they were ultimately unlucky, as UP secured a last-minute victory.
The Stripe Generation and the Orange Army have now played each other eleven times in Varsity Netball. Tuks have dominated with ten victories, while UJ managed a single win, which occurred in 2022.
Photo 1 Caption: Tuks crowned 2023 Varsity Netball champions in front of a captivating and enthusiastic home crowd at Rembrandt Hall in Pretoria on Monday, 18 September. Photo: TuksSport (Twitter/X)