England defeated Wales 85 – 31
Australia defeated Fiji 108 – 23
Jamaica defeated Barbados 76 – 32
New Zealand defeated Scotland 60 – 29
England beat Wales soundly by 54 goals in an error-ridden match. Wales struggled to cover the loss of injured Bethan Dyke in the midcourt, and couldn’t put England under sustained pressure. England made errors of their own, but scored consistently across the match to get the job done against their neighbours. Read the match report.
Australia dominated the Fijian Pearls in a controlled display. Standout judgement from Kim Ravaillion was complemented by Laura Geitz’s innumerable gains, Caitlin Bassett’s smart change ups and accuracy, and Susan Pettit’s fourth perfect game in a row. Read the match report.
The Jamaican coach rated their performance just a 6 out of 10, as they toppled Barbados in a strangely lack-lustre affair. While some wonderful aerial skills were on offer, there was a lot of turnovers and end-to-end netball by both sides. Both teams have big games ahead of them, and perhaps lost focus on their task tonight. Read the match report.
After a shock loss to Malawi, the Silver Ferns looked to address some of their errors against Scotland. They again had a fast start to the match, but struggled to push ahead and substantially build their lead across the game. While they defeated Scotland by 31 goals, there remained patches of inconsistency. Read the match report.
Bethan Dyke – Its been confirmed that Bethan Dyke has ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, and will need surgery. Bethan was in brilliant form for Wales, and will sadly miss up to a year of netball as she rehabilitates. Netball Scoop would like to wish her all the best for her recovery.
Maliana Rusivakula ran off court, over the hoardings and plowed through the Australian coaching group. She lacerated and bruised her shin, a painful but manageable injury.
Caitlin Thwaites and Susan Pettitt were both shooting at 100% for the tournament – an amazing feat considering the volume of goals they’re putting up – until early in the fourth quarter. Thwaites finally missed a goal, much to the dismay of her bench. CBass couldn’t watch, putting her hands over her face. Pettitt remains on 100%.
Australia is the first and only team at this Commonwealth Games to post a score line of over 100 goals. The achievement brought a roar from the crowd, and a contented smile to centre Kim Ravaillion’s face. In previous tournaments, centuries have been seen on various occasions, but at this Games, the gap between most of the nations is narrowing. It’s great for world netball.
WHAT WERE THEY LAUGHING ABOUT?
Something kept the English bench amused today, but we aren’t quite sure what! Suggestions anyone?
Channel 7 has assembled a brilliant team of netball commentators that includes Sue Gaudion, Cath Cox, Kath Harby-Williams (all from Australia), Caroline Barker (England) and Jenny Woods (New Zealand). They’ve been doing a brilliant job keeping the millions around the world in touch with what is happening in netball. We spoke to Sue Gaudion.
What are you enjoying? “Just about everything – the crowd is fantastic! I think the biggest thing has been the closeness of all of the countries. That’s been the biggest talking point when you speak to the general public or even the commentators. Gee, everyone is stepping up. I know Australia are dominant but thereafter everyone is being challenged, the scorelines are closing. For me that’s the best thing for netball.”
How is the commentary team going? “I’m enjoying working with all of them. I’ve only done one game with Kath Harbs (Harby-Williams) so far, but the two experts – her and Cath Cox – are so different. But there’s so much energy, there’s so much experience. There’s also Jen Woods from New Zealand and Caroline Barker from England. So they’ve put together a hugely international side. It’s great that Cath and I get the opportunity to do all the Australian games, and then carry that rhythm and flow over to the Suncorp games will be really special.”
Is there a difference to commentating the Commonwealth Games and the Netball World Cup? “World Cup is solely netball, and we are driven solely by what we want, whereas this is an international broadcast where we are appealing to the entire world. So there is a part we have to keep clean, but we hope our character still comes through. Bring it!”
NETBALLERS AS OTHER ATHLETES
THE TOUGHEST JOB IN NETBALL
Ask anyone. The toughest job in netball is marking the twin Jamaican towers of Romelda Aiken or Jhaniele Fowler-Reid. The only thing worse – having them both in the circle at the same time, something that we’ve yet to see in this Commonwealth Games.
Today it was Barbados keeper Shonette Azore-Bruce’s turn. Now Azore-Bruce is more than handy – she was the player with the highest number of intercepts at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (24). While the crowd appreciated her efforts with a roar when she dragged in a ball, it was just a tough day at the office for Shonette.
Simon Leonard’s images perfectly capture the enormity of the task, and the emotions that went with it.
WHAT KEPT US AMUSED
During half time of the two evening games there was a display of skipping so good that the media bench had to put down their pens and watch.
Thanks once again for a great report. Really loving the excellent “on the ground” insights and the fantastic photos.
Required reading. Keep up the terrific work