Birmingham Scoop – Day 5

Birmingham Scoop – Day 5

**Keep your eyes on Netball Scoop’s socials, as we bring you a “Behind the Scenes” vlog of each day’s activities, along with ‘Short and Sharp’ on the Reels.** 

 

Tuesday 2nd August

 

RESULTS

Australia 79 def Wales 33
Jamaica 78 def Scotland 34
England 56 def Uganda 35
New Zealand 80 def Trinidad & Tobago 24


 

LET’S TALK

Netball dresses have come a long way in recent years, and there are some stunning samples on display at the Commonwealth Games. From the Celtic knots on the Warriors kit, to Australia’s Indigenous artwork (the bike shorts are amazing!) and the Bajan Gems colourful design, it’s a joy to see teams celebrate their culture and heritage.

Celtic knots form part of Northern Ireland’s uniform, as worn by Caroline O’Hanlon. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography.

 

All Australian uniforms highlight Indigenous design. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography

In a show of respect and pride, Wales have the names of all current and former Commonwealth Games Welsh netballers printed on their dresses. They have become one of the fan favourite teams of the Comm Games, earning a big cheer from fans when they entered the arena ahead of the Australian clash. 

Having not qualified for the 2019 Netball World Cup, Wales are building. They pushed South Africa in lead up matches, and have been performing above their world ranking at the moment.  

 

 

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Local fans love umpire Gary Burgess, and it’s fair to say he’s enjoying the interaction with them at these games. We loved his cheeky reply about his hair, or lack thereof, on Twitter!

 

 

 

It’s a long time between matches for some of the nations, but it’s incredible to watch the mutual respect between athletes. While some fans have questioned the value of playing games that end with lopsided results, the lower ranked teams still thoroughly love the challenge and learn a lot about themselves and what they are capable of along the way.  

Scottish coach Tamsin Greenway had this to say on the topic, “You have to earn it. Australia, England, Jamaica, New Zealand, they don’t want to play us, and why would they when they are going to win by 40, 50 goals.

“However, we have to look at different ways across world netball that we can help these 5th to 12th teams, and then we can push on again. I was in that group of England players that also used to get smashed by 30 or 40 goals, and the only way we got better was having opportunities overseas, whether that was playing them or being invited into their league.

Greenway went on to say, “There’s got to be a greater good. Netball Europe, what does it look like. Do we have invited teams in? Is there a way we can have that’s like the Quad series for the top four teams. What does that look like? For Malawi, Uganda, Wales, us, all those other teams that are fighting and want to be better.”

“We’ve all got to come together and go, ‘What do we want World Netball to be? A superleague, or just four or five teams competing, OR, do we actually want 12 teams knocking on the door? That’s something for the big dogs to decide.”

 

Scotland coach Tamsin Greenway had some strong words to say on supporting the middle tier ranked nations. Image Jenny Sinclair

Hear Scotland captain, Claire Maxwell share her thoughts on the scoreline differentials, on The Netball Show podcast (available wherever you listen to your podcasts).

Yvonne Mentor, mum of Geva, caused quite a stir when interviewed in the audience at the half time break of England’s game. When asked who she was tipping for gold, Yvonne said that Jamaica looked a big threat, which obviously wasn’t the patriotic response the interviewer was expecting! 


 

INJURIES

Paige Hadley (Australia) was not named in the match day team for Australia following her calf injury yesterday. She is yet to be ruled out from the remainder of the tournament, but with each game she misses there is more load for the rest of the Australian mid courters. 

Steph Wood (Australia) rolled her ankle towards the end of the third quarter, ran out the quarter but looked uncomfortable. She received some attention from the team physiotherapist at the three quarter time break and didn’t return to court. 

Eleanor Cardwell (England) was left with some long scratches and a pinched inner thigh after the Uganda clash. 

A heavy collision between England’s Layla Gusgoth and Uganda’s Proscovia Peace saw them both slow to get up. Peace left the court shortly afterwards, nursing a limp. 


 

STAT CHAT

Jhaniele Fowler (Jamaica) – 37/37 (100%)
Grace Nweke (New Zealand) – 37/39 (95%)
Shamera Sterling (Jamaica) – 10 gains
Sarah Klau (Australia) – 9 gains
Shannon Saunders (New Zealand) – 42 feeds

New Zealand again focused on their turnover rate, producing just seven errors across the entire match. It’s been a key work on for the New Zealand side, according to Dame Noeline Taurua. 

 

Grace Nweke has been performing strongly across the tournament to date, but will face some strong tests in the days ahead. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


 

PLAYERS OF THE DAY

 

Cara Koenen (Australia) has been building into the tournament, and was outstanding against Wales. In addition to shooting 49/54 (91%), she was readily available as a forward pass, and worked hard in defence, coming up with three gains. Her movement around the third, in both attack and defence, was as slick as we’ve seen from anyone. 

Rachel Conway was impressive for Scotland. The 21 year old medical student spent half a game at goal keeper, playing fearlessly and coming up with two pickups, one intercept and 3 rebounds, against her Jamaican opponents. 

Shannon Saunders had a controlled outing for New Zealand, and finished with 42 feeds, one intercept and no turnovers in her three quarters. Her circle feeds were deliberately weighted, hitting their targets. 

 

Cara Koenen has been building into the tournament, and produced her finest outing today against Wales. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


 

MATCH REPORTS

 

Australia 79 defeated Wales 33 (20-11, 22-7, 22-7, 15-8) 

Wales started strongly against the Australians, with the Welsh shooters showing early confidence and accuracy in going to the post that meant scores remained close for much of the first quarter. It was only in the final minutes when Australia lifted their intensity across the court that they were able to start pushing out the lead.

Welsh mid-courters Bethan Dyke & Suzy Drane found great circle edge position, and weren’t afraid to utilise the height of their shooters and send in the high ball over the top of Australian defenders. They were just as capable of using their ball speed to swing the ball across the circle and open up front space that was much safer. 

Australia lifted from the second quarter, with more defensive pressure and smoother attacking combinations once Steph Wood & Cara Koenen were together in the shooting circle. Ash Brazill returned to wing defence, and the injection of Jo Weston to goal defence created more defensive pressure and attacking drive through court allowing the shooters to sit back and create space for each other. 

Wales made several changes in the third quarter, rotating through the majority of their squad in an effort to combat the surge from the Australian’s. While it didn’t pay dividends in the third quarter, in the fourth quarter they kept Australia to their lowest quarter score for the tournament, only scoring 15 goals. They forced the Australian’s into attacking errors, and limited their ball supply which saw a sizable drop in volume. Overall it was a performance Wales should be pleased with, they took the Australian’s by surprise in the first quarter and while unable to maintain the intensity for 60 minutes certainly tested the opposition in ways they likely weren’t expecting. 

AUSTRALIA
KOENEN 49/54 (91%)
BUETA 26/27 (96%)
WOOD 4/4 (100%)
TOTAL 79/85 (93%)

WALES
ROWE 16/18 (89%)
CREAK 11/11 (100%)
ROBERTS 6/11 (55%)
TOTAL 33/40 (83%)

 

Australian captain Liz Watson in action. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


 

Jamaica 78 defeated Scotland 34 (25-6, 15-12, 21-5, 17-11 )

The Jamaican juggernaut showed some signs of slowing, despite basting Scotland by 44 goals. Counting only the second and fourth quarters, Scotland would have gone down by a mere nine. Jamaica will need to guard against complacency, and make smoother adjustments when substituting players, if they are to succeed against other top four sides.

Sunshine Girls centre Adean Thomas argued her case for the starting seven, proving a vital cog in the well-oiled attack, while oppressive in defence. Shamera Sterling continued piling on points for tournament MVP, time and again showing her uncanny timing and flexibility to pull in and offload impossible interceptions – she finished with 10 gains out of her team’s 23. The entire Jamaican line has been showing focus, straight lines in attack, and quick release. Their hugely experienced defenders, all having played several years in the Australian domestic league, are now very organised, and a shooter’s nightmare.

A relatively inexperienced Scotland outfit benefited from the nous of coach Tamsin Greenway, using a predominant defensive zone. While it was initially too high and lacked a sweeping player to attack the long feed, gradually the zone reaped some gains and slowed the opposition attack. The movement of shooters McCall and Goodwin was often effective in drawing defenders off the mark and opening space between or over the back. Goodwin was a shining light with her 95% accuracy disguising the lacklustre team accuracy today and in the previous game against Wales.

Scotland had a brilliant second quarter, with both the addition of McPhaill in goal defence and a much more intense application of the zone making life hard for the Jamaican attackers. McPhaill and Tait have made impressive strides in their game, the latter coming back from a severe knee injury last season. The Sunshine Girls missed Sterling in this period, with new goal keeper Kadie-Ann Dehaney exerting far less pressure. The quarter margin dropped from 19 in the first quarter to only three goals in the second.

The next question is, can Jamaica continue their slick dominance when facing Australia in two days, and into the semi-finals? Feeds often came into Fowler or Nelson from way off the circle, but in a good sign the midcourt also can craft a ball to circle edge. The transition play from defence is showing patience and variety, using outlet passes only when risk-free. Their improved conditioning and focus mean their preliminary dodges and anticipation in defence are streets better than past tournaments. The Sunshine Girls appear to have their best ever chance for winning a major title.

JAMAICA
FOWLER 37/37 (100%)
NELSON 33/35 (94%)
BECKFORD 5/6 (83%)
ROBINSON 3/6 (50%)
TOTAL 78/84 (93%)

SCOTLAND
GOODWIN 18/19 (95%)
BARRIE 12/17 (71%)
MCCALL 4/8 (50%)
TOTAL 34/44 (77%)

 

Khadijah Williams celebrates a Jamaican win. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


 

England v Uganda

A feisty and bruising encounter between England and Uganda saw multiple cautions, and bruises and scratches dished out. Scenting an opportunity for a possible upset, Uganda hunted every ball, often with a lack of control. With bodies hitting the floor at frequency, and Eleanor Cardwell pinched and scratched, more needed to be done by the umpires to protect the athletes. 

Geva Mentor showed her experience at goal keeper, playing both in front and behind, edging the Ugandan shooters towards the edge of the circle. To escape the attention Proscovia Peace started to exit the circle rather than holding strongly, which caused great congestion through the goal third, but was manageable due to Uganda’s short, tight, game. Following a heavy fall, Peace was substituted out for Mary Cholhok.

Uganda then started the third quarter with both Peace and Cholhok on the bench, and their shorter shooters, Irene Eyaru and Shadiah Nassanga, on court. The added movement was effective, and kept Geva Mentor and Layla Gusgoth on their toes.

England looked more polished in the second half, although were guilty of not looking into the circle at times. With Jo Harten receiving court time after a two game break, her movement was good, but the crowd held their collective breath every time she took a hit. 

Natalie Metcalf had another strong captain’s game, driving on to the circle edge, but will welcome a rest day tomorrow after several busy matches. 

ENGLAND
CARDWELL 27/30 (90%)
HOUSBY 15/15 (100%)
HARTEN 14/17 (82%)
TOTAL 56/62 (90%)

UGANDA
EYARU 12/14 (86%)
NASSANGA 9/12 (75%)
PEACE 8/9 (89%)
CHOLHOK 6/7 (86%)
TOTAL 35/42 (83%)

 

England won a challenging encounter against Uganda. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


 

New Zealand 80 def Trinidad & Tobago 24 (22-5, 21-6, 16-7, 21-6)

The day’s play was completed with New Zealand’s workmanlike win over Trinidad & Tobago. Lacking the spice of the previous match, it was another opportunity for the Silver Ferns to test a range of combinations.

New Zealand also used their defensive zone effectively, with most players on court picking off a gain. Kelly Jury had another impressive game at goal keeper, while once again New Zealand kept their turnovers incredibly low with just seven for the match. 

While they had some impressive long plays through court, for the most part Shannon Saunders and Gina Crampton controlled possession and used carefully weighted passes into the circle. Grace Nweke once again was New Zealand’s best performed shooter, but was penalised on a number of occasions for contact. Her first real test of the tournament will come on Thursday against England’s Geva Mentor. 

For Trinidad & Tobago, Shaquanda Greene was once again among her side’s best, although ended the match in tears after another heavy defeat, while Jeresia McEachrane, who switched between wing defence and goal defence, had another strong match. 

While the result didn’t go their way, Trinidad & Tobago played patient netball to progress through court, occasionally taking as many as 30 passes to goal, and when they did score, the crowd erupted. Trinidad & Tobago also grew into the match, restricting New Zealand to 16 in the 3rd quarter. 

NEW ZEALAND
NWEKE 37/39 (95%)
SELBY-RICKIT 19/22 (86%)
WILSON 16/16 (100%)
MES 8/10 (80%)
TOTAL 80/87 (92%)

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
COOPER 13/15 (87%)
NOEL 11/12 (92%)
TOTAL 24/27 (89%)

 

New Zealand have been keeping their turnovers below 10 in most matches. Image Sue McKay/Kick It To Me Photography


 

TOMORROW’S SCHEDULE

Wednesday 3 August 
UK Times 

12pm – South Africa v Wales 
2pm – Uganda v Northern Ireland

6pm – Scotland v Barbados
8pm – Malawi v Trinidad & Tobago

 

Check out all the scores, stats and points tables on our Draw & Results page.

 

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