Group E – Barbados 62 def Zimbabwe 45
Group F – Australia 77 def Scotland 37
Group G – New Zealand 83 def Wales 34
Group F – Malawi 62 def Fiji 48
Group E – Singapore 55 def Sri Lanka 52
Group G – Jamaica 61 def Uganda 49
Group F – England 72 def Tonga 46
Group G – South Africa 69 def Trinidad & Tobago 29
New Zealand have confirmed that Grace Nweke has been withdrawn from the tournament after suffering a partial tear of her patella tendon. The new injury substitution rule has allowed her to be replaced by Tiana Metuarau.
Australian coach Stacey Marinkovich expressed her sympathy, saying “We are gutted for Grace. It’s a really tough thing particularly in a World Cup, but I know New Zealand is a classy outfit that I don’t think allows anyone to take their foot off the pedal.
Lenize Potgieter of South Africa has also now been ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee injury. She will be replaced by 21-year-old Owethu Ngubane. Check out tomorrow’s exclusive on what went wrong for Potgeiter.
Zimbabwe’s Claris Kwaramba hobbled off with an apparent left ankle injury, caused by a tangle with her own teammate.
Unaisi Rauluni, Fiji goal attack, suffered what seemed to be a knee injury late in the first quarter against Malawi. She did not rejoin the game.
Congratulations to Kelly Jury (New Zealand ) who played her 50th Test.
Happy 29th birthday to Jamaica’s Adean Thomas
It’s interesting to compare the turnovers of the top four nations across the first four rounds.
New Zealand – Total 47 (average 12 per game)
Australia – Total 60 (average 15 per game)
Jamaica – Total 60 (average 15 per game)
England – Total 81 (average 20 per game)
Australia was averaging just 12.6 per game until Round 4, when they coughed up 22 in a tally that’s in uncomfortable territory. With such high shooting percentages across the tournament, a turnover can effectively be a two goal turnaround, so it will be a key focus leading into the finals.
A New Zealand focus under Dame Noeline Taurua has been ball retention, and the Silver Ferns continue to lead the way in this metric.
Jamaica and England have both trended upwards in turnovers as the days have progressed, perhaps due to rotations and fatigue, and will need to reign them in.
In the battle of the Gems, the result was a huge turnaround from four years ago in Liverpool. On that occasion, Zimbabwe, on the way to a top eight finish, defeated Barbados 66-41. In this match, Barbados’ experience and timing proved the difference early against Zimbabwe as they ran out 62-45 winners.
Even though appearing exhausted at times, Kadeen Corbin ran the entire show, scoring 38 goals at 91%, producing fewer turnovers than past matches, and becoming a target for rough defence. Akeena Stoute was brilliant at goal defence, causing confusion, held balls, offensive contacts, and stepping by the Zimbabweans.
Amanda Knight, Barbados’ wing defence, was warned for late and heavy contact through the midcourt. Moving Nicole Muzanenamo from centre to goal attack provided the Zimbabweans more confidence, unpredictability, drive and space – they won the second half 29-27.
While it might not have looked like it on the scoreboard, Australia were challenged by Scotland. The Diamonds excelled defensively, but with attacking combinations not gelling they didn’t make the most of their opportunities, gifting 22 turnovers to the opposition.
Coach Stacey Marinkovich went to her bench at quarter time, far earlier than she usually does, before completely shuffling her entire starting line at half time. The plan was to test a variety of combinations, but with the turnover rate so high, they finished with their lowest score of the tournament to date.
Courtney Bruce and Sarah Klau each finished with 6 gains, while Jamie-Lee Price picked up five in the midcourt to go with her 16 assists. Price was named MVP for the match, but was somewhat expensive with four turnovers.
The Scotland team is showing definite signs of improvement under the coaching of Tamsin Greenway and Sara Francis-Bayman. Although up against the world number one team, the Thistles never dropped their heads and played with greater confidence as the match wore on. In particular, midcourters Hannah Leighton and Iona Christian did a good job.
Shooting accuracy has been a problem for Scotland, and so it was again today as none of the four shooters was able to reach the 80 percent mark. But the team seemed to lift when Emma Barrie was brought on, and Cerys Cairns showed promise.
One lone but very loud Fiji supporter drove her team from the bleachers. The Fijians had an awesome start in the round four matchup, unsettling Malawi by dictating space and undermining Joyce Mvula and Mwai Kumwenda’s confidence. Maliana Rusivakula was consistently brilliant, with her step-ons to shoot not challenged, and finishing with 40/41.
Then suddenly, momentum turned 180 degrees. Fiji’s defence chose the wrong times to hunt the ball, and Mvula scored 14/14 in the first quarter. Matters were worsened when goal attack Rauluni went down with a painful knee injury.
Grace Mwafulirwa was having a field day at wing defence, taking multiple intercepts and six pickups. Fiji struggled to even get a shot up, before finally settling on a new combination in goals which provided variety, rotation, and accuracy. They had an 11-all draw in the third quarter, but the raft of continual changes only ever worked briefly before changing again.
Meanwhile the Queens made very few changes, which was interesting given they are to face Australia the next day. The Queens ran out comfortable 62-48 victors, with Mwai Kumwenda most valuable player.
New Zealand started Netball World Cup life without star Grace Nweke, after the devastating news of a partial patellar tendon tear which has ruled her out for the rest of the tournament. Brought in as an injury replacement under new World Cup rules, Tiana Metuarau saw 20 minutes of game time as the Silver Ferns ran out 83-34 winners over Wales.
The Ferns ran with one of their strongest lines to start the game, and were impressive with a fast, free-slowing attack on the game. Maia Wilson will shoulder much of the goal shooter load after Nweke’s injury, and she finished with 49 goals at 100%. Metuarau entered the court in the third quarter, and after missing her first shot, rebounded it and blew out a huge sigh of relief when it went in. In all, New Zealand shot at a very impressive 95 percent.
The Feathers rotated their team, resting legs ahead of winnable games in the days to come, and also to give their young team experience against some of the best in the world. The shooting circle, in particular Philippa Yarranton, shows great promise and will only benefit from the outing. Christina Shaw picked up four possession gains at goal keeper.
This was the first meeting between these two countries for 12 years. New Zealand won 91-21 when they last clashed at the 2011 World Cup. So today’s 49 goal margin was an improvemenet on that.
Two of Asia’s top performing nations came head to head in what was a defining match for their World Cup campaign, and the match of the round. Singapore had an early lead with goal keeper Jamie Lim wrapping up a few early tips against the competition’s tallest player, Tharjini Sivalingam, who stands at 206 cm tall.
Sri Lanka struggled early in the match to combat the dynamic and moving circle of Singapore. The team was constantly on the back foot, with the Singapore shooters splitting the defence and sinking shots from anywhere in the circle. This saw them take an early 9 goal lead.
The introduction of Thishala Algama at GS proved to be a master stroke. The Sri Lankan side came back from a 9 goal deficit, to be up by one at the second quarter. They had 5 defensive gains and kept Singapore to only 7 goals for the entire second quarter. Chathurangi Jayasooriya picked up 4 of those gains in the first half keeping her side in it.
The short and mobile attack end proved too much of a challenge for Sri Lanka. In a famous victory Singapore took home the win, considering that their last victory was in 2015, and 4 years ago in Liverpool Sri Lanka defeated Singapore by more than 20 goals. Jamie Lim took the MVP honours, while captain Kai Wei Toh and Amandeep Chahal displayed fearless shooting under pressure, pushing the team over the line.
Both Jamaica and Uganda came into the crossover stage in strong form. Uganda went into the first quarter break with just a three goal deficit as they managed to choke out three intercepts and five turnovers in the first quarter.
The second quarter from Jamaica was something to behold. In amassing 23 goals to nine, they converted every single centre pass, gain, and turnover from Uganda – except the last centre where they merely ran out of time. This feat, exemplified by an incredible 13 goal assists by Khadijah Williams, was not accomplished by any other title-contender on day four, in any quarter.
Things swung early in the third, where Jamaica brought on several substitutes. Uganda jumped out 10-4, benefiting from lower intensity and miscalculations from Jamaica. She-Cranes centre Margaret Baagala took advantage of the holes, carving straight through to her goalers, while Christine Nakito began a run of intercepts.
Uganda couldn’t maintain their intensity into the final quarter, but kept the fire in the tussle, still winning the second half 28-23. Wing defence Shaffie Nalwanja was warned for repeated obstruction at the circle edge. In just their third World Cup meeting, today’s scoreline 61 to 49 was nearly identical to 2019 when Jamaica won 61-48.
The England v Tonga match up was entertaining from the start – one team using drilled structures, the other using natural flair and pathway skills to make up for lack of time together. The Tala stayed within six goals during the first quarter, which featured perhaps the last ever toss up seen at this level, with rules set to change next year.
Mo’onia Gerrard and Eleanor Cardwell tussled under the post, with Gerrard stopping the umpire at one point to complain about a post goal shove.
England pulled away during the second quarter with some excellent defensive stops, including five gains from Funmi Fadoju, who lead the game with nine in total. Helen Housby and Cardwell also switched positions, but with the game out to an 18 goal lead, it was strange to see neither of them, or Metcalf rested, until midway through the third quarter.
For the Tala, Hulita Veve – one of the players of the tournament to date – led the way with eight gains at centre, while Uneeq Palavi had another strong outing under the post with 37/42.
With devastating news coming out of the South African camp, Lenize Potgeiter has ended her World Cup journey due to injury, replaced by Owethu Ngubane . The host nation came out of the blocks against Trinidad & Tobago with real intent, after a tough loss yesterday. Shadine van der Merve added pressure with some early tips in defence.
The introduction of Phumza Maweni at goal keeper, brought to life her combination with Karla Pretorius and limited Trinidad & Tobago to only 3 goals in the second quarter. They were,however, not as deadly at the post with Venter uncharacteristically missing some early shots, shooting 22/27 at only 75.9%.
The third quarter saw a combination we haven’t seen before from the Protea side – Nichole Taljaard in at goal shooter with Elmere van der Berg going to goal attack. It was less than effective as the Proteas had eight turnovers during the period.
Olwethu Ngubane took the court at her first World Cup and the crowd lit up. The Proteas powered on to keep T&T to less than 30 goals, while the Caribbean side gave away an ugly 46 turnovers. Both teams have giant games in the next few days and today would seem a great learning curve for both in terms of trying out different combinations.
Ranked 13th in the world, but on the rise, Zimbabwe came into the tournament with publicly stated hopes of finishing in the top eight. However, they didn’t win a preliminary match and have been relegated to Pool E. The best they can now finish is 13th, a hugely disappointing outcome, and today’s 17 goal loss to Barbados puts even that in doubt.
Having missed the last Netball World Cup, Wales have just two players with experience at a pinnacle tournament – Bethan Dyke and Georgia Rowe. They qualified by winning the European Qualifiers late last year, ousting Northern Ireland from taking part in 2023. Ranked 9th in the world, Wales best ever finish is equal 6th in 1975 and 1979.
It’s understood that Jamaica’s playing kit didn’t arrive until the night before the tournament started, leaving no time for tailoring to fit. Some of the slighter athletes played in almost knee length dresses that closely resembled sacks. However, a tailor must have been found, because all dresses were a better fit on Day 4.
Have we seen the last ever toss up? Rules are set to change as of January 1st 2024, outlawing the toss up from that point on. Kate Wright called one during the Tonga v England game, after she couldn’t decide between two offenders.
Day Four also marked the first time the substitute rule has come into play, with two players brought into a team due to injury.
Tiana Metuarau is the first player to be subbed in under the Netball World Cup’s new rules. Hear her thoughts about her unique circumstances.
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|6||.||Trinidad & Tobago||.||0||.||41%|
*Qtr Time Pod
*The Netball Show