HISTORY OF THE NETBALL WORLD CUP2023-07-25T13:43:16+10:00
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  • Avatar photoIan Harkin
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      4 pools of 4 teams with the top 3 teams progressing to form 2 pools of 6, then on to semi finals and a final.


      GROUP A

      Australia 88 def Northern Ireland 24
      (Bassett 33/34, Thwaites 25/26, Tippett 18/19, Wood 12/13)
      (Craig 18/22, Magee 6/16 (38%), Crosbie 0/2)

      Zimbabwe 79 def Sri Lanka 49
      (Takaidza 59/62, Ndlovu 14/15, Bwanali 6/7)
      (Sivalingam 44/45, Wannithileka 5/5)

      Australia 73 def Zimbabwe 37
      (Bassett 49/53, Tippett 24/28)
      (Takaidza 15/20, Jani 11/13, Bwanali 8/9, Ndlovu 3/4)

      Northern Ireland 67 def Sri Lanka 50
      (Magee 29/32, Armstrong 22/26, Craig 16/22)
      (Sivalingam 47/52, Wannithileka 2/2, Sethukavalar 1/1)

      Australia 99 def Sri Lanka 24
      (Thwaites 67/68, Wood 32/34)
      (Sivalingam 16/19, Wannithileka 8/10, Mendis 0/2)

      Zimbabwe 51 def Northern Ireland 49
      (Takaidza 44/46, Ndlovu 5/5, Bwanali 2/2)
      (Armstrong 29/38, Magee 20/24)

      Group order:
      1. Australia
      2. Zimbabwe
      3. Northern Ireland

      4. Sri Lanka

      GROUP B

      New Zealand 64 def Malawi 45
      (Folau 39/43, Ekenasio 20/21, Selby-Rickit 5/6)
      (Mvula 22/27, Chimaliro 18/22, Simtowe 4/6, Kamwala 1/2)

      Barbados 69 def Singapore 34
      (Wharton 27/29, Blackman 22/23, Holder 11/13, Thomas 9/12)
      (Soh 21/31, Tan 9/10, Toh 3/7, Lee 1/3)

      New Zealand 78 def Barbados 25
      (Mes 30/33, Folau 21/24, Selby-Rickit 20/22, Ekenasio 7/8)
      (Wharton 14/17, Thomas 4/6, Holder 4/6, Blackman 3/4)

      Malawi 87 def Singapore 38
      (Mvula 31/33, Kamwala 27/32, Chimaliro 23/24, Simtowe 6/6)
      (Soh 15/17, Tan 11/13, Toh 7/12, Lee 5/7)

      New Zealand 89 def Singapore 21
      (Selby-Rickit 37/39, Folau 27/28, Ekenasio 15/20, Mes 10/11)
      (Soh 11/18, Toh 8/13, Lee 1/1, Tan 1/5)

      Malawi 65 def Barbados 41
      (Mvula 31/33, Chimaliro 23/25, Kamwala 8/11, Simtowe 3/3)
      (Wharton 15/18, Thomas 12/17, Blackman 11/12, Holder 3/4)

      Group order:
      1. New Zealand
      2. Malawi
      3. Barbados

      4. Singapore

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        GROUP C

        Jamaica 85 def Fiji 29
        (Fowler 33/35, Aiken 26/36, Robinson 15/17, Beckford 11/17)
        (Rauluni 10/13, Panapasa 7/9, Waqa 6/7, Vocea 6/8)

        South Africa 76 def Trinidad and Tobago 45
        (Potgieter 42/43, Holtzhausen 18/22, S.Burger 16/18)
        (Wallace 28/30, McCollin 11/14, McCarthy 6/7)

        Jamaica 68 def Trinidad and Tobago 43
        (Fowler 38/40, Beckford 12/14, Robinson 11/20, Aiken 7/13)
        (McCollin 19/21, Wallace 19/24, McCarthy 5/6)

        South Africa 90 def Fiji 35
        (Potgieter 33/34, S.Burger 32/36, Stoltz 21/25, Holtzhausen 4/4)
        (Rauluni 13/18, Panapasa 11/11, Vocea 8/13, Waqa 3/5)

        South Africa 55 def Jamaica 52
        (Potgieter 36/39, Holtzhausen 19/29)
        (Fowler 38/39, Beckford 14/19)

        Trinidad and Tobago 67 def Fiji 56
        (Wallace 40/42, McCollin 21/29, McCarthy 3/5, Hollingsworths 3/5)
        (Panapasa 33/35, Rauluni 23/26)

        Group order:
        1. South Africa
        2. Jamaica
        3. Trinidad and Tobago

        4. Fiji

        GROUP D

        England 64 def Uganda 32
        (Harten 29/35, Housby 18/19, Dunn 17/19)
        (Proscovia 20/23, Nanyonga 12/14)

        Scotland 53 def Samoa 35
        (Gallagher 23/27, Goodwin 21/25, Barrie 8/9, McCall 1/1)
        (Tanimo 18/20, To’o 10/12, Salanoa 5/6, Autagavaia 2/3)

        England 70 def Scotland 34
        (Dunn 49/52, Housby 14/16, Haythornthwaite 4/4, Harten 3/4)
        (Gallagher 13/14, Barrie 11/13, Goodwin 9/12, McCall 1/2)

        Uganda 69 def Samoa 48
        (Cholhok 34/39, Oyella 17/18, Proscovia 16/18, Nanyonga 2/2)
        (Salanoa 25/26, To’o 20/25, Tanimo 3/4)

        England 90 def Samoa 24
        (Harten 40/41, Dunn 30/34, Housby 10/12, Haythornthwaite 9/11)
        (Tanimo 8/9, Salanoa 8/8, Autagavaia 6/8, To’o 2/4)

        Uganda 52 def Scotland 43
        (Oyella 27/28, Proscovia 19/25, Cholhok 6/7)
        (Barrie 23/29, Gallagher 18/20, Goodwin 2/3)

        Group order:
        1. England
        2. Uganda
        3. Scotland

        4. Samoa

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          The top 3 teams from Groups A & B formed Group F and the top 3 teams from Groups C & D formed Group G. Points already earned against stage two opponents were carried forward from stage one.

          GROUP F

          New Zealand 79 def Zimbabwe 36
          (Ekenasio 25/30, Selby-Rickit 23/23, Folau 23/25, Mes 8/10)
          (Jani 13/13, Makusha 7/9, Takaidza 7/9, Bwanali 5/5, Ndlovu 4/7)

          Malawi 47 def Northern Ireland 43
          (Mvula 30/31, Chimaliro 15/18, Simtowe 2/2)
          (Armstrong 22/29, Magee 19/27, Craig 2/2)

          Australia 91 def Barbados 22
          (Bassett 26/30, Tippett 25/26, Thwaites 20/20, Wood 20/23)
          (Wharton 20/24, Thomas 2/6)

          New Zealand 77 def Northern Ireland 28
          (Folau 31/36, Ekenasio 26/28, Selby-Rickit 10/11, Mes 10/11)
          (Magee 14/22, Crosbie 6/9, Craig 5/7, Armstrong 3/6)

          Australia 74 def Malawi 25
          (Bassett 24/28, Thwaites 22/22, Tippett 17/18, Wood 11/11)
          (Chimaliro 12/17, Simtowe 10/12, Kamwala 3/6)

          Zimbabwe 66 def Barbados 41
          (Jani 51/53, Bwanali 11/16, Ndlovu 4/5)
          (Wharton 28/30, Holder 7/7, Thomas 6/9)

          Northern Ireland 46 def Barbados 43
          (Magee 22/29, Armstrong 19/21, Craig 3/4, Crosbie 2/4)
          (Wharton 24/26, Blackman 19/20)

          Australia 50 def New Zealand 49
          (Bassett 37/41, Wood 13/16)
          (Folau 21/24, Ekenasio 20/24, Mes 8/10)

          Malawi 59 def Zimbabwe 43
          (Mvula 41/43, Chimaliro 18/20)
          (Takaidza 22/24, Jani 13/15, Ndlovu 4/5, Bwanali 4/6)

          Group order:
          1. Australia
          2. New Zealand

          3. Malawi
          4. Zimbabwe
          5. Northern Ireland
          6. Barbados

          GROUP G

          England 56 def Jamaica 48
          (Harten 27/30, Housby 29/34)
          (Fowler 43/43, Beckford 5/9)

          Uganda 57 def Trinidad and Tobago 54
          (Oyella 26/29, Proscovia 23/25, Cholhok 7/7, Nanyonga 1/1)
          (Wallace 38/41, McCollin 16/16)

          South Africa 66 def Scotland 38
          (Potgieter 30/30, S.Burger 26/29, Holtzhausen 8/9, Stoltz 2/6)
          (Goodwin 18/24, Barrie 10/12, Gallagher 6/9, McCall 4/7)

          England 72 def Trinidad and Tobago 46
          (Harten 36/40, Housby 21/24, Dunn 15/19)
          (McCollin 26/29, Wallace 20/22)

          Jamaica 67 def Scotland 36
          (Fowler 45/48, Aiken 13/16, Robinson 9/12)
          (Barrie 19/22, Gallagher 11/11, McCall 5/5, Goodwin 1/5)

          South Africa 67 def Uganda 40
          (Potgieter 46/49, Holtzhausen 21/23)
          (Oyella 27/30, Proscovia 13/14)

          Trinidad and Tobago 43 drew with Scotland 43
          (Wallace 29/30, McCollin 14/17)
          (Gallagher 23/25, Barrie 17/21, Goodwin 3/5)

          Jamaica 61 def Uganda 48
          (Fowler 38/39, Aiken 9/11, Beckford 8/9, Robinson 6/8)
          (Proscovia 28/29, Nanyonga 12/19, Oyella 8/12)

          England 58 def South Africa 47
          (Harten 30/33, Housby 24/26, Dunn 4/5)
          (Holtzhausen 19/27, Porgieter 17/21, S.Burger 11/12)

          Group order:
          1. England
          2. South Africa

          3. Jamaica
          4. Uganda
          5. Trinidad and Tobago
          6. Scotland

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            15/16 Playoff: Sri Lanka 78 def Singapore 57
            (Sivalingam 77/84, Mendis 1/2)
            (Soh 38/41, Toh 11/15, Lee 5/5, Tan 3/3)

            13/14 Playoff: Samoa 53 def Fiji 42
            (Salanoa 23/24, To’o 17/20, Tanimo 13/15)
            (Panapasa 22/24, Rauluni 10/11, Vocea 10/11)

            11/12 Playoff: Scotland 53 def Barbados 42
            (Gallagher 27/28, Barrie 24/30, Goodwin 2/2)
            (Wharton 31/34, Blackman 7/10, Holder 4/4)

            9/10 Playoff: Trinidad & Tobago 57 def Northern Ireland 48
            (Wallace 36/38, McCollin 20/20, Hollingsworth 1/1)
            (Armstrong 24/28, Magee 17/25, Craig 7/8)

            7/8 Playoff: Uganda 58 def Zimbabwe 47
            (Proscovia 27/33, Oyella 16/17, Cholhok 15/18)
            (Takaidza 30/36, Bwanali 9/10, Jani 7/8, Ndlovu 1/1)

            5/6 Playoff: Jamaica 68 def Malawi 50
            (Fowler 53/54, Aiken 8/12, Beckford 4/6, Robinson 3/5)
            (Chimaliro 25/33, Mvula 23/29, Simtowe 2/2)


            SEMI FINAL 1
            AUSTRALIA: 55 (Thwaites 30/30, Tippett 23/23, Wood 2/3)
            SOUTH AFRICA: 53 (Potgieter 39/41, Holtzhausen 14/16)
            (14-10, 31-23, 43-39, 55-53)

            Starting lineups:
            AUSTRALIA: GS Thwaites, GA Tippett, WA Watson, C Hadley, WD Price, GD Weston, GK Klau
            SOUTH AFRICA: GS Potgieter, GA Holtzhausen, WA Msomi, C E.Burger, WD van der Merwe, GD Pretorius, GK Maweni


            SEMI FINAL 2
            NEW ZEALAND: 47 (Ekenasio 25/26, Folau 22/26)
            ENGLAND: 45 (Housby 24/27, Harten 21/25)
            (12-9, 21-24, 36-33, 47-45)

            Starting lineups:
            NEW ZEALAND: GS Folau, GA Ekenasio, WA Crampton, C Langman, WD Rore, GD Kopua, GK Watson
            ENGLAND: GS Harten, GA Housby, WA Pitman, C Guthrie, WD Clarke, GD Usoro-Brown, GK Mentor

            3/4 PLAYOFF
            ENGLAND: 58 (Housby 29/29, Harten 29/34, Dunn 0/1)
            SOUTH AFRICA: 42 (Potgieter 28/32, Holtzhausen 12/20, S.Burger 2/2)
            (14-12, 29-22, 46-32, 58-42)

            Starting lineups:
            ENGLAND: GS Housby, GA Harten, WA Haythornthwaite, C Guthrie, WD Clarke, GD Usoro-Brown, GK Mentor
            SOUTH AFRICA: GS Potgieter, GA Holtzhausen, WA Msomi, C E.Burger, WD Chawane, GD Pretorius, GK Maweni

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              NEW ZEALAND WON 52-51
              (10-10, 28-25, 41-37, 52-51)

              NEW ZEALAND:
              GS Folau
              GA Ekenasio
              WA Crampton
              C Langman
              WD Rore
              GD Kopua
              GK Watson


              Shooting stats:
              Folau 28/35 (80%)
              Ekenasio 24/26 (92%)
              TOTAL 52/61 (85%)

              GS Bassett
              GA Wood
              WA Browne
              C Watson
              WD Price
              GD Weston
              GK Bruce

              3rd quarter.. Tippett GA (Wood), Klau GK (Bruce)
              During 3rd Q. Brandley WD (Price).

              Shooting stats:
              Bassett 35/40 (88%)
              Tippett 11/11 (100%)
              Wood 5/6 (83%)
              TOTAL 51/57 (90%)


              Tournament MVP: Karla Pretorius (South Africa)
              Umpires: Gary Burgess and Kate Stephenson

              Stats from Champion Data… https://mc.championdata.com/VitalityNetballWorldCup2019/index.html?competitionid=&matchid=108750402


              FINAL PLACINGS:

              1. NEW ZEALAND
              2. Australia
              3. England

              4. South Africa
              5. Jamaica
              6. Malawi
              7. Uganda
              8. Zimbabwe
              9. Trinidad & Tobago
              10. Northern Ireland
              11. Scotland
              12. Barbados
              13. Samoa
              14. Fiji
              15. Sri Lanka
              16. Singapore

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                Gold for Silver Ferns! New Zealand crowned netball World Cup champions
                Liam Napier – NZ Herald

                The Silver Ferns, these marvellous mavens, are world champions. Never has there been a more worthy group.

                Sixteen years after New Zealand’s last World Cup crown in Jamaica, Noeline Taurua has inspired a fairytale triumph in Liverpool, sneaking in the backdoor to steal a title to sit alongside those in 1967, ’79, ’87 and 2003.

                In a spooky similarity, the last New Zealand team, led by Ruth Aitken and Anna Stanley (nee Rowberry), to claim a World Cup title also broke a 16 year drought.

                This 52-51 triumph seemed so much more improbable than any before. Last year, the Ferns hit rock bottom. Thanks to Taurua’s incredible 11-month transformation, they are top of the netball world.

                Taurua joins Taini Jamison, Lois Muir (twice) and Aitken as World Cup-winning New Zealand coaches. Such status is nothing more than she deserves.

                First England, on home court, were swept aside in the semifinal. Today the Silver Ferns dethroned Australia, 11-time champions and winners of the last three World Cup titles. Let that sink in for a minute.

                New Zealand, rejoice, you have a netball team to savour.

                Spare a thought for Ferns captain Laura Langman, veteran defender Casey Kopua and star shooter Maria Folau. Since 2007, that trio has stomached three successive World Cup final losses to Australia.

                Bridesmaids, no more.

                After withstanding the inevitable Australian onslaught the Ferns turned with a four-goal buffer for the final quarter. Ameliaranne Ekenasio, as she did against England, nailed pressure shot after pressure shot to finish with 24 from 26 while Kopua and former captain Katrina Rore snaffled crucial intercepts.

                At the final whistle the Ferns flew into a huddle and celebrations began; passion etched on their faces. Given the depths they rose from, this title means so much to so many.

                The coin toss had to be performed twice after the first rolled along the court floor for an age before finally stopping upright, refusing to pick a side.

                It proved an omen for a typically ding dong, goal-for-goal, transtasman scrap in which every pass, every possession, was contested as if lives depended on it.

                After resting four of her starting side for their semifinal against South Africa, Australian coach Lisa Alexander returned to her strongest seven.

                Unlike their stirring semifinal upset over England, this time the Ferns had the crowd on their side.

                Folau, with her radar slightly off, encapsulated early nerves as she missed three shots in the first quarter, and lost the ball out of court on another occasion. Those misses, and the odd wild pass, allowed Australia to push out to a four-goal lead.

                Gradually, New Zealand settled. Ekenasio’s high, looping shots dropped; a Jane Watson intercept and Langman tip later, and the Ferns clawed their way back to 10-10 at the end of the first quarter.

                Both sides enjoyed more fluency through court in the second quarter. At times the Ferns embraced freedom to let the ball go – Gina Crampton finding Folau in space under the hoop one particular highlight.

                On the bench Taurua nodded nervously.

                Star Australian shooter and captain Caitlin Bassett, so often the Ferns tormenter, endured shaky moments under pressure from Watson, missing four goals in the first half.

                But it was a Rore intercept, just before the half time, that allowed the Ferns to clinically convert the decisive turnover for a three-goal burst that spurred them to a 28-25 advantage.

                Alexander blinked first by turning to her bench for the second half, injecting Gretel Tippett for Steph Wood at goal attack, in a bid to counter the smothering New Zealand defensive end of Watson and Kopua, and swapping Sarah Klau for favoured defender Courtney Bruce.

                Those changes didn’t have the desired impact, though. Australia were rattled, making uncharacteristic errors as New Zealand capitalised to opened up a seven-goal buffer.

                Seeing the match slip away Alexander made further changes by pushing April Brandley into wing defence for Jamie-Lee Price.

                This time the tweak sparked a momentum shift as Australia closed to within four at the final turn.

                A costly turnover to start the fourth quarter and Australia were one goal behind. Ekenasio held nerve and the defensive end stepped up.

                The rest is history. Glorious, glorious history.

                Meanwhile, hosts England, stunned yesterday by the Silver Ferns, comfortably claimed third place with a 58-42 victory over South Africa. England coach Tracey Neville and Norma Plummer, leading South Africa for the 50th time, both signed off with this match.

                Jamaica, world No 2, finished fifth after defeating Malawi 68-50.

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                  New Zealand Silver Ferns defeat Australian Diamonds in Netball World Cup final
                  Brittany Carter – ABC

                  Australia are suffering heartbreak in Liverpool after losing the Netball World Cup final to New Zealand by a goal. For the first time since 2003, the Silver Ferns beat the Diamonds in the gold-medal match 52-51, with classy defence and better control.

                  Having lost their last meeting to Australia in the final game of the preliminary rounds, New Zealand overthrew the hosts and favourites England in the semi-final. This was an impressive feat itself, considering they did not even place at the last Commonwealth Games.

                  The opening quarter was the sort of tussle we are used to seeing from the trans-Tasman rivals and heading into the first break the score was level, 10-10.

                  A similar pattern was repeated in the second quarter, with each team shooting one-for-one until the Silver Ferns got on a roll, scoring three consecutive goals in the final minute. Goal shooter Maria Folau had started slow, but improved during this period, moving from 63 per cent accuracy to 85.

                  Her shooting partner in goal attack, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, also outsmarted the Diamonds multiple times, drawing both circle defenders away to leave Folau free in open space for the feed. Unfortunately Australia did not learn from this mistake and it cost them. Even the injection of Sarah Klau at goal keeper in the third quarter could not stop the momentum.

                  Brimming with confidence and sticking to the dogged defence that helped them reach the big dance, New Zealand continued to test the Aussies, scoring six unanswered goals in this quarter to take a seven-goal lead in the final break. While the Diamonds fought hard in those last 15 minutes, they could not take back the lead.

                  Basset scored to make the difference just one in the final minute, but a mixture of penalties meant the Silver Ferns held on to possession. The experience of their older and more capped players paid dividends in ensuring they held onto concentration in such a big event.

                  One of them, Casey Kopua, who was awarded player of the match, influenced the game from the back with two intercepts, three gains and an important rebound. She gets to leave the game a hero, having played her final game in a black and silver dress.

                  But Australia should be proud of their performance, especially the fight they showed in the fourth quarter to bring the difference back to a single goal.

                  Wiping tears from her eyes, a devastated Kelsey Browne told the ABC it was a bittersweet time for reflection. “Coming into this I had no idea what to expect,” the midcourter said. “It’s been a huge week and I’m really proud to be part of it. I didn’t know if I was ever going to make it, so to play in my first ever World Cup I’m over the Moon. I just wish it went the other way.”

                  Browne also paid tribute to head coach Lisa Alexander, who gave the team a pep talk as they stood in a huddle after the final whistle. “Lisa was unbelievable after the game, I was really drawing inspiration from her strength,” she said.

                  “She came over and said how proud she was and how brave we were out there. We weren’t going out to defend a title, we were going out to win it and we knew that we had to do that. So for her to say what she said meant a lot.”

                  Overcome with disappointment but remaining optimistic, she said the squad was banding together. “I’m getting a little bit emotional right now, standing up on stage,” she said. “It’s a combination of happiness that you’re here and you’ve participated in such an amazing event but also that you wanted it so badly and it hurts to have to see somebody else take what you really wanted.”

                  “Although they are sad tears and obviously we’re hurting a bit right now, we’ve gone into the changeroom and the girls are getting around each other, hanging tough and sticking together because I think that’s the most important thing at the moment.”

                  Despite the result and the fact Australia has now lost two gold-medal matches in the past 15 months, it is important to see the bigger picture.

                  England’s hosting of the Netball World Cup has generated an enormous amount of interest in the northern hemisphere and will hopefully encourage the nation’s governing body to invest more in its UK Super League and telecast all matches.

                  For the first time, four African teams made the top eight of the tournament and the fact that South Africa finished fourth will entice their crowds to get behind the 2023 World Cup in Cape Town.

                  Zimbabwe — in their debut tournament — have brought so much colour and life to Liverpool and worked their way into netball fans’ hearts.

                  And the Australian team has established a brilliant new squad of players that are still young and should be back in another four years with a vengeance.

                  Skipper Caitlin Bassett and fellow shooter Caitlin Thwaites are the only players in the current squad over the age of 30, so it is likely these players will bounce back in the green and gold.

                  Australia has long set the bar for the level of netball required to win a World Cup and they have helped develop other international players and coaches with the world’s best Super Netball competition.

                  But perhaps now it is time we focus on our own national team and put plans in place to ensure we get back to being the world’s best.

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                    New Zealand end 16-year wait to beat Australia in Netball World Cup final
                    Erin Delahunty – Guardian

                    Mana, the Māori phrase for power and authority, perfectly encapsulated New Zealand’s potent Netball World Cup-winning performance in Liverpool as they beat the reigning champions, Australia, 52-51, a scoreline that inexplicably flattered the Diamonds.

                    The Ferns, rebuilt piece by piece, process by process by the master coach, Noeline Taurua, after shocking the netball world by missing a medal at the Commonwealth Games last year, were simply too good for Australia. Taurua struggled to put her nation’s first World Cup win in 16 years into words. “I’m quite speechless. I don’t know what to say.”

                    Australia, the world’s No 1 team, shuffled the deck numerous times during the high-tension match, trying to find a combination that could overcome the suffocating defensive zone from the veteran Casey Kopua at goal defence and the World Cup debutante Jane Watson, or disrupt the two long‑bomb queens in black, Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekenasio.

                    Folau – one of Taurua’s “fossils”, her phrase for veterans – put in a first-class performance, finishing with 28 from 35. Ekenasio replicated her sparkling semi-final form (when she shot 25 from 26), to finish with 24 from 26.

                    The young Australian defence line – the goal defence Jo Weston and Courtney Bruce, and then Sarah Klau, who replaced Bruce at keeper – had no answers and spent far too much time out of play and watching balls sail into Folau’s outstretched arms.

                    Australia looked switched-on from the off and converted through Bassett after waiting patiently for the space required to open up. The Ferns were nervier and had to work hard to make their first, through Ekenasio, who started the final with heavy strapping on her upper thigh. Early on Laura Langman looked set for a repeat of her semi-final brilliance, when she took the English centre Serena Guthrie to the cleaners, and she duly delivered.

                    It was going goal-for-goal until an uncharacteristic Folau miss but, after Bruce reeled in the rebound, the Diamonds could not convert – and it was a foretaste of things to come.

                    It took five minutes for a centre pass to be broken and it was the Australians who did it, thanks to another Folau mistake and a Bassett conversion.

                    The Ferns’ jack-in-the-box keeper Watson got two quick intercepts on Bassett and the game was back to level pegging in a flash. Bassett and Wood finished the opening stanza without a miss, while the Ferns pair missed four. It was to be their worst quarter. As is antipodean tradition in big matches, it was tied up at the first break, 10-10.

                    In the second the Australian attack line had to work infinitely harder to make anything happen, care of the disciplined Kiwi zone, and down the other end an Aussie defensive meltdown began.

                    In an apparent attempt not to draw whistle from the two English umpires, Bruce gave Folau far too much room on the baseline and the 32-year-old goaler gladly took full advantage, shooting 11 from 13 for the quarter. She gave her side the ascendancy and, vitally, the momentum it rode until the final whistle. Ekenasio chipped in another seven without a blemish in that second quarter.

                    Australian captain, Caitlin Bassett, stood up in the circle under smothering defence. She made bad feeds look good and even chased a few loose balls down, but she missed four for the quarter, letting the Ferns pull away. Wood missed only one. After a three-goal run just before the break the Kiwis led at half-time 28-25.

                    Australian coach, Lisa Alexander, made two significant personnel changes at the main break, replacing Bruce with the Cup debutant Klau and Wood with the rising star, Gretel Tippett, at goal attack. Folau continued on her merry way at GS on Klau, knocking down another eight for the quarter, missing just one.

                    In her first minutes since injuring her ear earlier in the tournament April Brandley replaced Jamie-Lee Price at wing defence for Australia with two minutes left in the third but the Ferns still found easy avenues to goal – normally Folau all alone on the baseline.

                    While Tippett tried to inject herself into the game, including a trademark high-release feed to Bassett, she did not have much help, as the Kiwi defenders picked off bounces, passes and high balls, helping create a six‑goal run for the Ferns midway through the quarter. At three-quarter-time the Ferns led 41-37.

                    Australia started the last with three straight, narrowing the margin to just one, but the Ferns – driven by that mana – never looked like losing and clung on.

                    Bassett was straight to the point post-game. “It’s obviously not the result we wanted today. It was such a close finish. I don’t think you could have asked for any more from any of the girls in our team. It’s one goal.”

                    One goal; enough to change history.


                    As it happened… https://www.theguardian.com/sport/live/2019/jul/21/australia-v-new-zealand-netball-world-cup-final-live

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                        Semi-final 1

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                          Semi-final 2

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                            3rd place playoff

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                              Avatar photoIan Harkin
                                Post count: 22060
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