Experts weigh in on Commonwealth Games

Experts weigh in on Commonwealth Games

By |2018-04-05T08:39:25+10:00April 5th, 2018|Categories: AUS, Commonwealth Games 2018, NZ, UK, World|2 Comments

Sue Gaudion
2018 Commonwealth Games commentary team

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v England. Australia to win.
I am confident that Australia will be there awaiting their opponent. But the battle between England, New Zealand and Jamaica is intriguing.
I’m going with England based solely on ‘this is their time’. Now, no-one is owed this moment, but England have proven over the last 12 months that they are tracking in the right direction. Their belief is rock solid, their unit seems tighter than ever, but the big question for them will be can they eliminate unforced errors, disguised as flare? This is their greatest downfall and the fundamental element that holds them back. Get it right and they will find themselves wearing a different colour medal for the first time in Games history. I hope they are OK with silver!

Dark Horse: Jamaica

Player to watch: Madi Robinson. Expect her to bounce back from an underwhelming 2017.


Cath Cox
2018 Commonwealth Games commentary team

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v England. Australia by 15. Australia are too good too strong off the bench. Plenty of options. Don’t think England do.

Dark Horse: South Africa.

Player to watch: Caitlin Thwaites.


Photo: Simon Leonard


Jenny Woods
2018 Commonwealth Games commentary team

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v New Zealand. Australia to win.
At last the days of just two teams presenting as final contenders are over.
Australia deserves the favourites tag, but England and South Africa have nipped at their heels in recent months, while New Zealand remains the only team to have beaten them in the recent past.
England are bullish about their chances – with good reason – but they’ve been here before, and not delivered.
New Zealand isn’t just on the back foot, they have both feet back. But once they settle their team selections, they’ll make the final against Australia, but gold may be a bridge too far.

Dark Horse: Jamaica. This is a very good Sunshine Girls side which could go all the way. Having seen their performances in New Zealand, they are patient and they have depth.

Player to watch: Shamera Sterling. A champion disrupter and ball winner.


Michael Hutchinson
Netball Scoop senior writer

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v Jamaica. Australia to win by 11.
Jamaica and Australia are running into the event with great form.

Dark Horse: England. They run hot and cold at the best of times, but could knock off any of the top four on a good day.

Player to watch: Shamera Sterling.


Photo: Marcela Massey


Liz Ellis
Australian netball legend, WWOS commentator

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v Jamaica.
Australia are best team in the world and Jamaica are the next best team on recent form, especially in tests in New Zealand over the weekend.

Dark Horse: England. Not really dark, but if they get their act together they will be dangerous.

Player to watch: Laura Geitz. Looking forward to see her return and whether she can still be a game breaker.


Jenny Sinclair
Netball Scoop senior writer

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v Jamaica. Australia by 7.
It’s hard to go past the World and Commonwealth champions, despite a number of players lacking international experience. They’ve ticked every box in their preparation, and the return of Geitz and Robinson will add crucial experience to each section of the court.
Jamaica have had limited test exposure recently, but looked the goods against New Zealand. With powerful bookends and a more patient style of play, I think we will see them in the gold medal match.

Dark horse: South Africa. A settled line, self-belief and masterly coach could see them upset a few teams.

Player to watch: Shamera Sterling. This little heralded player was in sparkling form against the Silver Ferns.


Photo: Marcela Massey


Andrew Kennedy
Netball Scoop senior writer

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v Jamaica. Australia to win.
Given what we saw from Jamaica in the Taini Jamison series, I’d say the gold medal playoff will be between Australia and Jamaica.

Dark horse: South Africa. They’re are ready to upset one of the top four nations. It could be New Zealand or England.

Player to watch: Shamera Sterling. With the protection of and combination with Williams and Facey, she caused so much disruption and picked up mountains of possession against New Zealand in the recent series.


Anita Navin
Netball commentator

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v England. Australia by 12.
England are strong enough and performing with higher levels of intensity and consistency, so will conquer New Zealand in Pool B.
England will be aided by recent squad changes and with no Langman in the New Zealand squad and also Folau coming back from a knee injury.
Australia will have a scare in Pool A and then come out on fire to beat England. Australia will show their expertise in one on one defence and step up their game. Australia know so much about the Roses and their key players, structure and mindset is tough to conquer in a final.

Dark Horse: Jamaica

Player to watch: Serena Guthrie. She’s consistent in her performances, is a first-class ball distributor and has great quality of movement through the court


Image: Simon Leonard


Dan Ryan
Adelaide Thunderbirds coach

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v England.
I’m extremely confident the Diamonds will feature in the decider. They have the strength and depth in the squad and they know how to handle the big occasion. I’m tipping a showdown with England, this team has the personnel to win its first-ever gold, it will all come down to belief and execution in the pressure moments for this team and that’s where they are unpredictable. They’ll need to get past Jamaica first!

Dark horse: Jamaica. There’s no reason why they can’t go all the way. A gold medal match will be unfamiliar territory for them, but if they can maintain their recent form and play with composure under pressure they could shock us all!

Player to watch: Serena Guthrie. Guthrie just keeps getting better and has emerged as one of the best midcourt players in the world. If she can produce her trademark magic in the big games, she’ll have a huge influence on the Roses campaign.


Junior Levi
Australian mens netballer

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v England. Australia to win by 2, in extra-time.
Diamonds are a shoo-in for a gold medal spot – they’ve chosen the best 12 possible and are currently world number one. Bar a trip up against New Zealand in last year’s Quad Series, they have been unstoppable for a few years now. The Roses seem the most likely to take the other spot based on the experience in the side boosted by Suncorp Super Netball.

Dark Horse: Jamaica. After taking the Taini Jamison Series against New Zealand they’ve showed what they’ve always had and that’s the fire power. But now have the mental toughness to back it up. Boasting the best female GS in the world in Fowler and with some exciting new blood in defence in the right frame of mind, they could topple any team in the top five.

Player to watch: Shamera Sterling. After making tidy work of New Zealand’s shooters, Sterling will be the name to watch. Her height, athleticism, amazing fast feet and rangy hands make her able to compete in the air with any tall GS, but also off the ground and around the speedy GAs. If she stays healthy and on form she’ll be the netball breakout star of the Games and may even lead Jamaica to a Gold Medal playoff!


Tamsin Greenway
Wasps head coach, former England Rose

Gold medal match prediction: Australia v England. To close to call winner, but it will be within 5.
It’s Aussies to lose on home soil and depends if Ravaillion and Robinson become a real force over the week. If Geva gets the better of CBass and Harten is fully fit, then England will be victorious.

Dark Horse: Jamaica. Been flying under the radar and then pop up and beat the Kiwis twice, they are looking dangerous and will be tough to beat in a Semi Final. I think they finally have a defence end that can match up with the best shooters.

Player to watch: Maria Folau: will still be the best GA there even though I think New Zealand will struggle to medal. Serena Guthrie: will be the leader for England, the best centre court out there. Shamera Sterling: I’ll be amazed if she’s not playing in Australia next season. She’s a game changer for Jamaica.


*Note that these questions were posed prior to South Africa losing Lenize Potgeiter and Danelle Lochner to injury.

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  1. Brig April 5, 2018 at 10:09 am

    I was nearly going to add that note after all the Dark Horse picks for SA! Interesting to see if South Africa can pull out their best games and get that upset but hard to see how they can put that 4 q pressure on the scoreboard without Potgeiter….

    11 votes for Aus, 6 for Eng, 4 for Jamaica and 1 for NZ to get into the final. Can Not Wait!

  2. Turningpoint April 7, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Great read. Interesting takes. After the first 2 days I can kiss the tipping comp goodbye.
    I didn’t have Jamaica on the same radar as others.
    I’ll be able to take my training wheels off at the next Commonwealth Games.

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