Netball Scoop: Cape Town Wrap – Day 2 Saturday 29th July

Netball Scoop: Cape Town Wrap – Day 2 Saturday 29th July


Group D – New Zealand 54 def Uganda 44

Group A – Fiji 52 def Zimbabwe 48

Group A – Australia 85 def Tonga 38

Group C – Jamaica 75 def Wales 40

Group C – South Africa 87 def Sri Lanka 32

Group B – Scotland 53 def Barbados 44

Group B – England 62 def Malawi 39

Group D – Trinidad & Tobago 49 def Singapore 32



For the second day in a row South African shooting superstar Lenize Potgeiter didn’t take the court. There is discussion that she might be replaced by a reserve team member, although she will be given every opportunity to prove her fitness. 

In worrying signs for England, young superstar Funmi Fadoju appeared to tweak her ankle in the second quarter, and limped off court immediately.She headed to the rooms for assessment, but returned in the third quarter.

Jameela McCarthy, goal defence for Trinidad & Tobago, was slammed to the floor together with an opposing player, as she drove out of defence. A hefty bang of the head that should have required a concussion assessment seemed to not be given any more than a fifteen second breather. McCarthy soon after was substituted to the bench, coming back on near the end of the victory against Singapore.

Right at the end of the game, Trinidad & Tobago centre Alena Brooks had an apparent ankle injury and hobbled off with minimal assistance.


Imo Allison copped a heavy knock to the face, although a concussion assessment wasn’t called for. Image Danny Dalton



South African vice captain Karla Pretorius brought up the magnificent milestone of 100 tests in front of her home fans. Meanwhile, her Proteas’ teammate Ine-Mari Venter played game number 50.

Australian vice-captain Steph Wood also celebrated her 50th test cap with a victory over Tonga. Other players to bring up the half century in round two were Adean Thomas (Jamaica), and Gayanjali Amarawansa (Sri Lanka) 

The inspirational Claire Maxwell has become Scotland’s most capped ever player, with 122 tests to her name. 


Stat Chat

Australia had a slowish start to their match against Tonga. They committed seven turnovers in the first quarter and led by just two goals. By comparison, for the next three quarters combined, they had just eight turnovers as they ran out 47 goal winners. 

Jamaica were also impressive with just 11 turnovers against Wales, and 13 yesterday against Sri Lanka. While they are yet to come up against another top 5 opposition, it’s a strong response so far to the wastefulness of ball that has plagued them in previous tournaments.


Australia had a scrappy start to their match. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)


Let’s Talk

In just their fourth ever match, it took until the third quarter for New Zealand to break Ugandan shackles. Despite missing some of their key names, the She-Cranes were at their best when they weren’t drawn into matching their opponent’s footspeed. With Crampton sitting off during the first half, the Silver Ferns attacking line was fast, but looked frantic until she entered the game.

New Zealand’s experience and match fitness showed through in the end; however, as they took a 54-44 win. Phoenix Karaka was a stand-out in defence, taking five gains as she propelled her side to victory. She was adjudged the match MVP. 

As expected, Mary Cholhok did the damage in goals for Uganda, finishing with 30/38, and some beautiful circle movement that has developed across her seasons in the UK. Her side showed reluctance to put the high ball into her however.


Kate Heffernan on the drive. Image: Danny Dalton | Tah Dah Sports

Kate Heffernan on the drive. Image: Danny Dalton | Tah Dah Sports


In their first ever clash, the 19th world ranked team Fiji stunned the 13th ranked Zimbabwe, winning 52-48. After a very even first half, the Pearls took control in a decisive third quarter, winning it 17-10. 

The defensive circle of Adi Vakaoca Bolakoro and Kelera Nawai-Caucau pulled in 7 gains between them for the match, while Mali Rusivakula and Unaisi Rauluni combined for 92.9% accuracy, with a well deserved MVP to Rauluni. 

Fiji’s emotional coach spoke post match about just how much the win meant to the team, potentially lifting them into a higher ranked preliminary stage 2. Zimbabwe finished 8th at the previous world Cup in Liverpool, but are now in danger of slipping into the bottom four. 


Australia jumped out of the blocks in their match against Tonga, before an uncomfortably high error rate – 7 turnovers in the first quarter – saw them gift momentum back to the Tala. The Diamonds were able to correct their error rate, and powered away in the remaining three quarters. 

Former Diamond Mo’onia Gerrard was warned for dangerous play early on, but adjusted her play accordingly, while fan favourite Cat Tuivati entered the game in the second quarter, and immediately thrilled with a behind the back, look away alley oop. 

However, Australia put their foot down, and accelerated to a 85 to 38 goal victory. The Diamonds’ full court defence forced errors in the Tala play, while their aerial game has only benefited by playing against male training partners so regularly. Sarah Klau and Courtney Bruce, in particular, formed a tall and formidable wall in the circle.

Play of the match went to Tala’s Uneeq Palavi who, standing in uncomfortable shooting range, took a massive step in, bounced the ball off the post, to end up under the net. The Melbourne based athlete was strong at both goal shooter and attack, finishing with 29/34.

With seven of the Tongan players born in Australia, and the other five in New Zealand, the Tala have limited training opportunities, but showcased skills learned through their respective pathways. 


Tonga's Salote Taufa tries to get through Australia's wall defence. Image: Danny Dalton \ Tah Dah Sports

Tonga’s Salote Taufa tries to get through Australia’s wall defence. Image: Danny Dalton Tah Dah Sports


The Jamaican juggernaut continued with a 35 goal win over Wales. The impenetrable defence of the Sunshine Girls, featuring MVP Shamera Sterling’s multiple blocked shots, is a huge worry for upcoming opposition. With Jhaniele Fowler on court, the Jamaicans completely dominated the first half and scored 44 goals. With her going to the bench for the second half, they were only able to score 31 goals, but that was still enough to run out very comfortable winners. 

For Wales, experienced wing defence Nia Jones was successful at dictating the space of Kadijah Williams, and impressive rookie Sarie Watkins shot 9/10 in her 18 minutes on court. Shona O’Dwyer had great composure and a high workrate, despite frequently flying into very physical attention from the Jamaican midcourt. Wales had good transition structures,  converting 100% of their gains and Jamaican turnovers in the first half.


Jamaica on the drive. Image Danny Dalton


South Africa came out of the blocks with a point to prove against Sri Lanka, after a less than convincing win last night. It saw a wealth of youngsters starting and putting on a really dominant display. Celebrating the 100th cap for their vice-captain Karla Mostert and 50th cap for shooter Ine-Marie Venter, the team were beaming with pride. 

It was, however, no walk in the park: Sri Lanka boasted a 90% shooting average for the first half of the game and have improved from yesterday, shooting 18 goals by half time compared to just 11 at the same point of yesterday’s game.

Sri Lanka goal shooter Thishala Algama really stepped up for her team, shooting 24 out of the 32 goals for the game. It was impressive to see some good set plays from the attacking end keeping South Africa at the back foot at certain points of the game, and giving the team something to build on ahead of their last group C game. 

In just her second cap, Jeante Strydom was strong with 8 gains, 6 intercepts and 6 deflections winning player of the match. The team pulled together a solid performance with Elmere van der Berg shooting 50 out of 57 goals. Tomorrow brings to a close the first stage of the group rounds. Both teams have their most important matches of the group rounds and today has been an impressive preparation for their respective Jamaica and Wales matches. 


In their devastating loss to Malawi yesterday, Scotland lost the last quarter 8-20. They made no such mistake today against Barbados. The Gems could only put on a run of three goals at any time, while the Thistles played with a great deal of calm and connection for a convincing win.

Both sides were armed with former English internationals – the Thistles with coach Tamsin Greenway, the Bajans with attacking threats Sasha and Kadeen Corbin. Scotland introduced fresh players far sooner and not all at once, so the substitutions were made with tactics instead of necessity.

Scotland played with clear structures and clean lines throughout the match. Their connections were tight and natural, evidenced by only 13 turnovers. Niamh McCall put on an amazing display of poised long-range shooting with 29 goals at 93.5%, earning herself player of the match. When brought on in the third quarter Emma Barrie was a great steadying hand in goals and Emma Love gave very astute feeds, often a moment after she had barely received it..

The Bajans had the intriguing task of working two veteran English players into their fun, instinctive brand of netball. The first quarter was messy, with at times total disconnection and wild passing in attack. The second quarter was satisfying to watch, as the players’ sense of space and timing appeared to gel. The Gems themselves often didn’t seem to know what was coming next, but their athleticism and tenacity more than made up for it. Barbados made very few positional changes, as they were within five goals for most of the final quarter, largely thanks to goal keeper Faye Agard with four gains and Kadeen Corbin with four rebounds and 24 goals at 89%


England proved too strong for a fierce Malawi side, defeating the Queens 62 – 39. After a close call in yesterday’s firecracker against Scotland, Malawi started solidly against top of the pool so far England. In a tight first quarter, Joyce Mvula started where she left off yesterday, with her 100% shooting accuracy. While England made 8 turnovers in the first quarter alone, the combination of Housby and Cardwell seemed not as smooth as it was yesterday in the early stages of the match. 

As the game progressed the physicality from both sides skyrocketed, with crash landings and tough knocks requiring a number of official interventions. 

The introduction of the experienced Geva Mentor and Layla Gusgoth added a great amount of pressure in Malawi’s attacking end, causing 22 turnovers by the end of the third quarter. 

Takundwa Lwazi took a big fall during the match, after leading the stats at three quarter time for feeds and second for goal assists. Luckily, it was just a niggle and she was reintroduced in the final quarter, bringing back some stability to the attacking end. 


The England-Malawi match was highly physical throughout. Image Danny Dalton


Takondwa Lwazi was busy at centre for Malawi. Image Danny Dalton


Singapore has always been one of the shortest netballing nations, so they play with what they can control. Their structure is disciplined, accurate passing, and fast darts for intercepts, rather than trying outjump or outmuscle opposition. They cleverly use double plays and take smart advantage of when their opponents are penalised.

This held them in good stead against the strong and rangy Trinidad & Tobago athletes, who play with flair, instinct and tenacity. The first half could have been very different if Singapore’s accuracy was on song, having 34 attempts at 56% and one rebound, while the Calypso Girls shot at 91% with a colossal 14 rebounds – in thirty minutes.

Singapore seemed to realise that an upset was possible, trailing only 19-21 at half time. Their entire squad came out with amazing defensive commitment. Singapore was doing everything right except shooting and rebounding – they led match intercepts 6-1 and had only 15 turnovers to the opposition’s 32.

A feature of the last quarter was excellent understanding between Tiana Dillon at goal attack and Shantel Seemungal at wing attack. Their pace seemed to finally crack Singapore who were caught chasing and let the game slide out of reach.


Singapore rely on short, sharp ball movement to overcome their height disadvantage. Image Danny Dalton


What’s News?

The England v Malawi match required multiple changes of ball, as players complained of slipperiness. It hasn’t been a problem in previous games, so it was hard to work out what the issue was.


Seven of the 16 head coaches in Cape Town have also played for their country at a

World Cup; Connie Francis (Jamaica – 5 NWCs), Dame Noeline Taurua (New Zealand – 1), Tamsin Greenway Scotland Coach (England – 3 NWCs), Denise Alleyne (Barbados 2 NWCs), Jess Thirlby (England – 1 NWC), Unaisi Rokoura (Fiji – 2 NWCs), and Norma Plummer (Australia 1 NWC).


Crowds have been disappointingly small so far, other than for a standing room only Opening Ceremony and a choc-a-bloc South African match against Sri Lanka. With session tickets priced at approximately $70 Australian for an adult, and $50 for a child, it’s beyond the means of many South Africans. Some travellers have been buying tickets and donating them to locals, but the local organising committee would be disappointed so far. 


While it’s incredibly hard for umpires to hear and be heard over crowd noise, they’ve controlled matches beautifully with very clear hand signals. They’ve shown they won’t tolerate excessive numbers of penalties, with Malawi’s Grace Mwafulirwa sent off for two minutes yesterday.


And finally, not the England shooters with the cheeky little three quarter time break warm up out on court.  Not something we’ve seen so far by the team playing in a second session. 


Gary Burgess with both eyes on the action. Image Danny Dalton


Social Scoop

The Sunshine Girls assistant coach, Rob Wright talks tactics and the growth within the team since the Commonwealth Games.


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Mo’onia Gerrard on the differences between World Cup appearances and the touches of home the Tala have brought to Cape Town.


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1 . Australia 4 251%
2 . Fiji 2 99%
3 . Tonga 2 69%
4 . Zimbabwe 0 57%
1 . England 4 223%
2 . Scotland 2 103%
3 . Malawi 2 85%
4 . Barbados 0 50%
1 . Jamaica 4 277%
2 . South Africa 4 180%
3 . Wales 0 66%
4 . Sri Lanka 0 30%
1 . New Zealand 4 183%
2 . Uganda 2 135%
3 . Trinidad & Tobago 2 68%
4 . Singapore 0 57%



*Champion Data

*Qtr Time Pod

*The Netball Show


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