Captain’s return gives Crinumsa boost

Johannesburg - The 2016 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League defending champions Free State Crinums will pin their hopes on captain Maryka Holtzhausen on Sunday.

She was the player of the match in their 28-74 win against Limpopo Boababs on Friday. Last weekend, she inspired her team to a 52-32 victory over Kingdom Stars and also beat Eastern Cape Aloes 63-36 at the University of Cape Town Indoor Sports Centre.

Try out combinations

The back-to-back wins came after Crinums suffered three consecutive losses at the beginning of the league last month. Gauteng Golden Fireballs beat them 53-34; they then lost to the Jaguars 48-37 before slumping to a 44-35 loss to Southern Stings.

Crinums coach Burta de Kock said she was happy to have Holtzhausen back in the team.

“Of course, we have to try out our combinations,” she said. “Some of the players have not played with her before”.

The coach said her team was improving and there was a bigger pool of players to choose from.

“Our defence is improving every week and I am also excited that, for the first time, I have three shooters who are prepared to shoot from anywhere in the circle”.

The three-time champions’ assistant captain, Alicia Puren, told City Press that people should not rule them out because, in past seasons, Crinums went though difficult times at the beginning of the season but came back strong.

Lost their games

“Don’t forget, we started the same way last year, but as soon we got it right, we managed to defend our title,” she said.

Puren said that their loss came while they were focusing on getting young players to work better with senior players.

Crinums take on Mpumalanga Sunbirds on Sunday morning, who had lost all their games since the beginning of this year’s edition.

The other match taking place on Sunday are Aloes versus Northern Cape Diamonds.

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