Flames hoping to stay on fire in Brutal Fruit League

JOHANNESBURG (28 April 2016) – The Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League moves to its second host city of the season this weekend as the Ellis Park Indoor Arena hosts a fourth round in which the log-leading North West Flames face two tough matches.

The North West Flames will need to stay on their toes to retain their position at the top of the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League log as they face two tough games in Round 4 this weekend. Credit: BackpagePix
The North West Flames will need to stay on their toes to retain their position at the top of the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League log as they face two tough games in Round 4 this weekend. Credit: BackpagePix

Michael Vlismas – The Flames top the log with a full haul of eight points from four matches. The Western Cape Southern Stings, who suffered their first defeat of the season when they were beaten by the Flames last weekend, are also on eight points but having played one game more.

This weekend the Flames take on KwaZulu-Natal’s Kingdom Stars on Friday followed by the Gauteng Jaguars on Saturday.

Both will be physical matches with a quick turnaround in between, and Flames coach Dorette Badenhorst is now walking the tightrope of finding the right time to rotate her players.

“In the first two rounds of the competition I played all 12 of my players and that’s how I’ll finish it as well because we need to work together as a team,” said Badenhorst.

“This weekend we’ve got two tough matches so I’m still expecting my players to be strong for this weekend. Then thereafter I’ll bring in other players to give them opportunities and to let some of them rest. It’s very important to rest your players at some stage of the competition, but for now I need my players to be strong and physical in the games we’ve got coming.”

The matches against the Stars and Jaguars are potentially tricky ones for the Flames, with both teams feeling the pressure to get their season going.

The Stars certainly seemed to find something in Round 3. “What pleases me is that we have been able to try a number of combinations that are working well. I have a lot of versatile players who have natural flair,” said coach Marchelle Maroun.

But Jaguars coach Jenny van Dyk is still looking for the spark to their campaign.

“They aren’t playing the way I want them to play yet, but I am very pleased with the way some of the younger players performed.”

On Saturday, the Free State Crinums have somewhat of a local derby against their regional neighbours the Northern Cape Diamonds.

Fixtures (Ellis Park Indoor Arena, Johannesburg):

29 April

18:00 – Southern Stings v Baobabs

20:00 – Kingdom Stars v Flames

30 April

12:00 – Diamonds v Crinums

14:00 – Jaguars v Flames

16:00 – Kingdom Stars v Baobabs

18:00 – Aloes v Fireballs

1 May

10:30 – Diamonds v Aloes

12:30 – Jaguars v Sunbirds

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