Day 1 results
Jamaica def Fiji 88-30
England def Scotland 74-28
New Zealand def Uganda 64-51
Australia def Northern Ireland 94-26
Results from Day 1 were predictable with the world’s top four ranked nations winning their matches comfortably. Australia were particularly impressive: in the second half their captain, vice-captain and former captain were on the bench and yet they managed to extend their lead by an even greater rate.
New Zealand weren’t convincing in their 13 goal win over Uganda, and future games will confirm whether Uganda have improved significantly or whether New Zealand are still going to have a tough tournament.
Jhaniele Fowler-Reid may be the ruling shooting powerhouse, but there was a huge challenge laid down for the title of best target by Ugandan captain, Peace Proscovia. With her stunning leap, strength, and timing against two world-class keepers she carried her team to their most exciting international showing ever.
All eyes will be on South Africa on Day 2, wondering how they will cope in the absence of two shooters – Lenise Potgeiter and Danelle Lochner. Both were late withdrawals from the Games, injured in the last week. Potgeiter, who plays for the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, will particularly be a huge loss.
Alesi Paul from Fiji went down with a nasty looking knee injury. She will be assessed by medics, but at this stage it looks like her Games might be over.
Serena Guthrie also hit the deck in the game against Scotland, tweaking her ankle. She was making her way off court under her own steam, until captain Ama Agbeze decided to speed up the process and carried her off. Hopefully the move was just precautionary, as she was all smiles afterwards.
Want to get out on the Commonwealth Games’ netball court? Fans are being randomly chosen from the crowd to toss the coin before each match. Watching their smiles, it’s proved to be a winning move from organisers.
Right from the start crowd favourites Uganda showcased why they’re a pleasure to watch: their warm up incorporated dance moves that had the crowd swaying along with them. Fans got right behind the African team as the game progressed, with the chant U-Gan-Da echoing around the stadium.
At the Opening Ceremony, Lisa Alexander (coach, Australia) read the official oath on behalf of all coaches at the Games. She described the occasion as a wonderful privilege. Caroline O’Hanlon, Northern Ireland captain, Joyce Mvula, Malawi, and Peace Proscovia, Uganda captain, all had the honour of leading their countries into the opening ceremony as flag bearer.
Maria Folau created controversy before the Games started, calling for umpires to control overly physical play. However, several New Zealand defenders didn’t seem to get the memo, roughing up their Ugandan opposition.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
Fiona Fowler of Scotland and Helen Housby of England
Uganda centre Ruth Meeme connecting her knee to face of New Zealand goal keeper Temalisi Fakahokotau
HAIR OF THE DAY
Helen Housby’s intricate braids