South Africa: USSA Honours Go to Dominant Tuks Team

The Tuks netball players have continued their dominance by beating Kovsies 48-30 in the final of the USSA Tournament played in Bloemfontein.

The result underlines the fact that practice makes perfect. There can be no more arguing that Tuks are the best team in South African netball at the moment. The results of the local tournaments bear testimony to it as Tuks are currently also the Varsity Tournament champions.

But to use the words of a well-known advertising slogan - 'that's not all' - the Tuks players are also making their presence felt in the provincial tournaments.

Last month the Jaguars won the Brutal Fruit title for a second consecutive time while Gauteng won last year's National Championships. In effect, it meant Tuks are still winning, they're just donning different clothing.

Tuks head coach Jenny van Dyk seems to be the common denominator as she was the one who strategised and 'drilled her troops' to perfection, leaving nothing to chance for each of the campaigns.

Juzelri Garbers, who played for Tuks during the USSA Tournament, can vouch for that.

'Before the tournament even started, each of us knew what was expected,' said Garbers. 'It is all to do having a brilliant coach. Two weeks before the start of USSA, we were training at the times we were going to play our games as part of our conditioning.

'And this is just one example of the thoroughness with which we go about preparing to be the best we can be when it matters.

'Jenny is a firm believer in that every player matters. All of us, substitutes included, were involved from the start in the team strategy.

'This enabled Jenny to make on-court changes during a game, and it would have no impact on the team's performance. We kept playing with the same intensity.

'It gave us a definite advantage as some of our vital players could be rested to ensure they are at their best when it really mattered. I don't think the other teams had the same luxury.

'Being so well prepared makes it easier to be confident about our abilities. There was never a moment when we doubted that we would win but we made sure never to forget that any team is only as good as the last game it has played.'

Tuks' USSA success means that Chanté Louw, Tshina Mdau, Marlize de Bruin, Lungile Mthembu and Jasmine Ziegelmeier can boast of being part of a small elite group of players to have won all four senior national titles in South African netball.

However, there's going to be no time for them to celebrate as from Monday they are part of the Tshwane team that is competing in the National Championships in Port Elizabeth. That's another title to defend.

Van Dyk and her 'Tuks Troops' are up to the challenge.

'Each of our victories serves as extra motivation to keep on winning. It's a case of success begets success,' said Tuks' head coach.

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