Domestic giants Tshwane bounced back with an explosive statement on Monday, going unbeaten on the opening day of the Spar National Netball Championships in Potchefstroom.

After winning three successive titles in the senior A-division, Tshwane had been forced to withdraw last year due to a Covid outbreak in their squad.

They returned with a bang, however, beating host district Dr Kenneth Kaunda 36-32 before securing a 43-27 victory over defending champions Cape Winelands.

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“It was unfortunate that we couldn’t come through last year. We were well prepared but Covid hit at just the wrong time,” said Tshwane coach Jenny van Dyk.

“But we’re glad to be back and I definitely want to make use of this opportunity, working with players who are so receptive and coachable.

“The players are able to adapt quite quickly and as a group we are really getting to know each other quite well.”

Johannesburg also got their tournament off to a great start, picking up wins over Buffalo City (49-22) and Mangaung (36-23) to share top spot with Tshwane in the round robin standings.

Title holders Cape Winelands struggled in their opening matches, as they were handed a narrow 30-28 defeat to Nelson Mandela Bay before losing to Tshwane in the last fixture of the day.

Winelands were without a point after the first day’s action, settling at the bottom of the table alongside Mangaung and Dr KK, who both held a game in hand.

Buffalo City, who were late entrants in the top-flight A-division tournament, were in a tie for third place in the early stages of the six-day championships, after picking up a stunning 27-25 victory over Nelson Mandela Bay.

By editor