Netball Scoop: Cape Town Wrap – Day 1 Friday 28th July

Netball Scoop: Cape Town Wrap – Day 1 Friday 28th July

By |2023-07-29T13:24:58+10:00July 29th, 2023|Categories: World Cup 2023|Tags: |0 Comments


Group D – New Zealand 76 def Trinidad & Tobago 27

Group A – Tonga 56 def Fiji 51

Group A – Australia 86 def Zimbabwe 30

Group D – Uganda 79 def Singapore 37

Group C – South Africa 61 def Wales 50 

Group C – Jamaica 105 def Sri Lanka 25

Group B – England 90 def Barbados 29

Group B – Malawi 55 def Scotland 49



A spectacular tumble by Liz Watson early in the match against Zimbabwe, trying to fling the ball back in, led to very impressive bandaging for reportedly a tiny cut to the leg.

Jo Weston was hit in the face and needed a quick breather on the bench before appearing to be fully recovered and playing a further quarter.

Lenize Potgeiter was teary during the national anthem for South Africa, and didn’t take the court at all. Both her knees were heavily strapped, raising questions about whether she might be carrying an injury. 



In Cape Town, Norma Plummer equals the record of most World Cups as head coach, with five (two for Australia, three for South Africa). Her win in today’s match was her 100th in international netball. 

Lilian Achola and Christine Nakitto both made their international debut for Uganda. Nakitto starred in defence with eight possession gains. Midcourter Achola is the shortest player in the tournament at 158 cm.

Shooter Nalani Makunde made her international debut for Zimbabwe, and impressed against strong opposition. 

Jeante Strydom debuted for South Africa, in an impressive defensive effort, while Nansi Kuti made her international debut for Wales.

The Corbin sisters – Kadeen and Sasha – made their World Cup debut for Barbados after plying most of their trade with the Roses.


Stat Chat

A number of the top ranked nations were particularly clinical with the ball. Australia (12), Jamaica (13) and New Zealand (13) gave away the least number of turnovers. Being thrifty with the ball is one of the key measures to success in a tournament with small margins. 

Malawi shot at 100% in their match against Scotland, with 55 goals from as many attempts, which helped them get over the line. The Thistles also had 55 attempts, but missed six shots. Their shooting percentage was a very respectable 89%, but Malawi’s flawless shooting proved the difference. 


Umpire crew at Netball World Cup. 2023. Image Danny Dalton


Let’s Talk

There’s always bound to be a few teething problems at the start of a World Cup, and the opening match started to a disappointingly small crowd. While official figures aren’t available, there appeared to be little more than 600 people at the New Zealand v Trinidad & Tobago game. Fortunately the rain didn’t stop large crowds flocking to the Opening Ceremony.

Wide ranging errors also exist across official match reports and Champion Data, as those entities settle in. Courtney Bruce, for example, was listed as playing across four positions including centre. 

New Zealand were ruthless in their opening match against Trinidad & Tobago. Crisp in attack, the Silver Ferns were also  impenetrable in defence, limiting the Calypso Girls to just two goals in the first quarter. The zone is a challenge for nations who rarely play against it, and New Zealand had a field day picking off intercepts. 

Kate Heffernen showed how valuable she’ll be to the Silver Ferns’ campaign, playing across centre and wing defence, while Karin Burger hauled in six gains and was named MVP. The play of the match however, belonged to Trinidad & Tobago, when goal attack Joelisa Cooper threaded a ball from the transverse line into goal shooter Afiesha Noel in the second quarter.


New Zealand's Karin Burger pulls in a centre pass intercept. Image: Danny Dalton | Tah Dah Sports

New Zealand’s Karin Burger pulls in a centre pass intercept. Image: Danny Dalton | Tah Dah Sports

The highly rated Tonga Tala had to come from behind to defeat Fiji 56-51, after a slow start to the game. Fijian goal keeper Kelera Nawai-Caucau starred with ten gains, while for Tonga, Uneeq Palavi top-scored with 39/41, and match MVP Hulita Veve had five gains in the midcourt.

This was Tonga’s first appearance at a World Cup since finishing 22nd in 1999. They have come out of the sporting wilderness in recent years to gain a world ranking of seven. In today’s match, Cat Tuivaiti and Mo’onia Gerrard both played at a World Cup for a second nation. Tuivaiti previously represented Samoa in 2007 and Gerrard played for Australia in 2007 and 2011. 


Mo’onia Gerrard defending the shot for Tonga. Image Danny Dalton


Australia will be spending extra time in the ice baths after a bruising clash against Zimbabwe. In just their second ever encounter at a World Cup, the Diamonds’ ball speed was unmatchable, although the spring heeled Gems challenged both the air and the body. Liz Watson was strong around the circle perimeter, although ended up with a nasty scrape after taking out both the hoardings and a TV camera.

MVP Courtney Bruce finished with nine gains for the Diamonds, in three quarters on court. Elizabeth Mushore was equally as impressive for the Gems, coming up with six gains as she gave top scorer Cara Koenen a few tests of timing and athleticism along the baseline. 

This is Zimbabwe’s second appearance at a World Cup, after finishing eighth on debut in Liverpool. Gems’ goal shooter Nalani Nyasha Makunde, who currently plies her trade in Australia, top scored for her team with 20 goals at 80%. Her goaling partner Tafadzwa Matura entertained her courtside exclusive party aka Zimbabwean fans, with fast triple plays and a distinctive long split.


Ash Brazill flicking a ball away from her opponent. Image Danny Dalton


New stars are born at Netball World Cups. Elizabeth Mushore excelled for Zimbabwe. Image Danny Dalton


Despite missing a number of She-Cranes stars, Uganda easily accounted for Singapore, taking out the win 79-37.The Ugandan shooters shot at an impressive 91.9 per cent accuracy for the match. By comparison, Singapore struggled for accuracy, shooting at just 69.8 per cent for the match. The possession gains tally told the story in this one too, with Uganda winning turnover ball 28 times to Singapore’s nine. 

Uganda’s Mahameed Hanisha displayed versatility, top scoring with 31 goals in the first half at goal shooter, then coming on in the last quarter at the other end of the court and picking up a couple of defensive rebounds at goal keeper. Meanwhile, MVP Margret Baagala starred in the midcourt with 33 assists and 43 feeds.


Uganda’s Falidah Kadondi with the hops over Amandeep Chahal’s shot. Image: Danny Dalton | Tah Dah Sports


Jamaica played with their usual flair, but also an incredible level of control and precision. They produced the day’s highest score, hitting the ton and easily accounting for Sri Lanka 105 to 25. Fans have been excited to see how Crystal Plummer handled her first big tournament, and the young wing defence didn’t disappoint. Adean Thomas was also a standout in the midcourt. Latanya Wilson was adjudged MVP for the game. 

For Sri Lanka,  Dulangi Wannithilake impressed at goal attack. She outrebounded her much taller opponents at times, while also feeding some valuable ball to her shooter. 


Host nation South Africa opened their World Cup journey against Wales with a 61 to 50 goal victory. With a lot riding on this World Cup, the Proteas came out of the blocks slowly but as the first quarter progressed pulled together a solid team performance. 

The defensive end seemed a constant problem for the Welsh side, while Venter grounded the Proteas at the other end, taking out the match MVP. Coach Norma Plummer has always seemed to enjoy having two tall timbers in the shooting end and it seems to be really pulling together.

While getting some tips and intercepts, the trio of Phumza Maweni, Karla Pretorius and Shadine van der Merwe struggled to win much ball while the former was heavily penalised. 

For the Welsh side goal attack Phillipa Yarranton was a revelation in combination with Georgia Rowe. Ella Powell Davies impressed with a game-high 6 gains, as Wales pushed the Proteas harder than expected. 


The South African fans were loud and proud on the opening day of action.
Image – Danny Dalton


10th ranked Scotland almost produced the first upset of the tournament against Malawi. The African sweethearts have long been known as a top six nation – and the Thistles paid no attention to world rankings, taking a 17-9 lead into quarter time, thanks to nine unanswered goals. 

While the Scottish team is young, they have two masterminds for coaches, and a midcourt engine of Iona Christian and Hannah Leighton who sliced apart the more experienced Queens’ line in the first quarter. 

Malawi was able to turn things around slightly in the second and third quarters, winning both by just one goal. But then came an incredible final quarter. From six goals down, Malawi went on an 11-2 run. They eventually outscored Scotland by 20-8 in the quarter, to overhaul the Thistles and snatch the win 55-49. Scotland will be rueing the turnover count of 7-1 against them in that final 15 minutes.

A key part of the Malawi victory was their shooting combination of Mwai Kumwenda and Joyce Mvula. Coming together at the start of the second quarter, they helped bring Malawi back into the game, but they really put on a show in the last quarter, combining for 20 goals from 20 attempts. The Queens’ shooters didn’t miss all game, which helped them stay in touch and make their push for victory. Mvula was adjudged MVP for the game.


If the England versus Barbados game was the last, it was also the loudest, as the crowd brought their best soccer chanting along, pushing the England side to a spectacular win, defeating Barbados 90-29. 

The long anticipated combination of Helen Housby and Eleonor Cardwell totally dominated in the first quarter. The constant rotations and shooting accuracy proved to be a tough task for the Barbados defensive end. 

Kadeen and Sasha Corbin brought an intensity to the attacking end of Barbados, but they struggled to convert, particularly in the second half when they were outscored 48-11. Sasha led the center pass receives for the match with 22 but unfortunately was responsible for too many turnovers. Kadeen played the first three quarters as a shooter, but was then moved to goal keeper during the final 15 minutes.  

The constant rotation of players didn’t impact the Roses consistency at all, making only 16 general play turnovers compared to 36 from Barbados. Their defence dominated, with Funmi Fadoju awarded the MVP. Coming into the competition perhaps underrated by some, the Roses have shown they are capable of taking it all the way.


Imogen Allison warming up for England. Image Danny Dalton.


What’s News?

It’s understood that Jamaican Jhaniele Fowler and another player were robbed of more than USD$500, in a theft from their hotel. Teams have the choice of staying in Tier 1, 2 or 3 hotels, with security provided at each. While an investigation into the theft is ongoing, none of the money has been recovered as yet. Extra security has been provided at the hotel, and the team’s focus has shifted back to the tournament. 


Commentator Madi Browne was in party mode ahead of the Jamaican v Sri Lanka game, revving up a singing, dancing crowd. 

Executive General Manager of Performance, Stacey West, is in Cape Town with the Australian team. West provides a valuable link between all sections of the Diamonds, including the athletes, coaches, medical staff and media crew, keeping their schedules connected and problem solving where necessary. 


Australia line up for the national anthem on Day 1. Image Danny Dalton



Group A
1 . Australia 2 287%
2 . Tonga 2 110%
3 . Fiji 0 91%
4 . Zimbabwe 0 35%
Group B
1 . England 2 310%
2 . Malawi 2 112%
3 . Scotland 0 89%
4 . Barbados 0 32%
Group C
1 . Jamaica 2 420%
2 . South Africa 2 122%
3 . Wales 0 82%
4 . Sri Lanka 0 24%
Group D
1 . New Zealand 2 281%
2 . Uganda 2 214%
3 . Singapore 0 47%
4 . Trinidad & Tobago 0 36%




*Champion Data

*Qtr Time Pod

*The Netball Show


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