Pukke’s USSA Championship winning team was undoubtedly the team of the tournament and it is no surprise that five of their players were chosen in the Section A – Super League Dream Team. They are Anja Esterhuizen, Romé Dreyer, Mandy Hermanus, Fikile Mkhuzangwe and Zandré Erasmus.
Here are the Potchefstroom Herald’s ratings of all the Pukke players’ performances during the tournament:
Chanté Bester (captain, WD) 8/10
Bester led from the front as most captains should and it was no surprise that her excellent interception and positioning skills created indecisiveness from the opposition. An aggressive defender with great marking ability, too.
Fikile Mkhuzangwe (GD, WD) 8/10
Mkhuzangwe was her team’s ultimate ball snatcher in defence, using her tall frame to catch balls and snub opposition attacks. She had a fantastic tournament, all-round, and deserves her place in the dream team.
Romé Dreyer (C) 9.5/10
Dreyer is one of those tireless individuals in the centre of the court and seems to find her teammates more easily than anyone else.
Dreyer truly had a blinder of a tournament and her vision, skill and presence on the court were a real bonus for Pukke. Expect big things from her in the future.
Maronel Scherman (D, GD) (7.5/10)
‘Mari’ as she is known to her teammates was a thorn in the flesh for most of the opposition with her tenacity and physical style of play coming to the fore. Scherman and Mkhuzangwe traded most of the goal defence duties during the tournament and complemented the team well on the court. Scherman was also a real cheerleader on the bench.
Zandré Erasmus (GK) (9/10)
It is difficult to fault Zandré Erasmus’s effort during the tournament. She was a rock in defence as the primary goalkeeper. Teams found out the hard way that throwing longs balls would inevitably result in an intercept or loss of possession. Erasmus’s Varsity Netball and Brutal Fruit Premier League experience also shone through and she never looked stressed.
Anja Esterhuizen (G) (8.5/10)
This young shooter was at her best in the semi-final and final as she truly upped her game. She caught passes exceptionally well and had instinctive positioning, giving her the edge over her defenders. One of the bright young stars.
Jessica du Plessis (GA) (8/10)
Du Plessis really came into her own as the tournament progressed and her arrow-like shooting hit the bull’s eye more often than not. Not the tallest but her long range shooting gives her an advantage that some GA’s lack.
Jomari Myburgh (WA) (7.5/10)
This young wing attack had a solid tournament when given game time and her passing ability was definitely one of the highlights.
Caitlinn Rousseau (GA, G) (7/10)
Rousseau did not get much game time during the tournament but, when she came on, she showed her talent. This young first-year and former Volkskool Potchefstroom star will definitely reach greater heights in the future.
Mandy Hermanus (WA, WD) (8.5/10)
A ball of energy on the court with a no-nonsense mentality to do everything at 100% is one way to describe Hermanus at the USSAs. She leaps, passes and intercepts balls at full tilt and her impact was critical to Pukke building momentum in tight games.
Marike Maree (GA, G) (7/10)
Maree started the tournament as Pukke’s preferred goal attack but saw more time on the bench as the tournament progressed. She has the experience and talent in abundance but lacked that something extra during this tournament. Solid and dependable when on the court.
Ischke van der Bergh (7/10)
This young blonde did not get a lot of game time but can be satisfied with a good showing.