Compiled by Andrew Kennedy, Katrina Nissen and Jenny Sinclair
Day 9 – Saturday 20th July
The world order of netball of netball has changed, with Jamaica missing out on the semi-finals for the first time in a long time, making way for the South African Proteas. For the first time ever, four African nations made it into the top eight, while several of the European nations have dropped down the rankings.
It was a tense day of semi-finals, with both Australia and New Zealand prevailing in close encounters over South Africa and England respectively
WHAT CAUGHT OUR EYE
Heroes of the tournament: the towels
In Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball a few months ago there was ‘mop gate’: a cleverly utilised stoppage of time during which the courts are wiped clean of sweat, and players have a quick 5-10 second discussion to set up defensive structures or attacking play.
During this World Cup, where no official time-outs are allowed, players have been unusually scrupulous with the cleanliness of the court. While we are sure that player and umpire safety are at the forefront of their minds when they are wiping down the court, we must wonder, is it all for that reason or are tactics being utilised here?
There’s an enormous number of volunteers at the Netball World Cup, but probably none more important than the 17 umpires. It’s hard to believe that the Superleague and international umpires don’t get paid for their work, although their travelling and medical expenses are covered. Gary Burgess (England) explained, “All of travel is reimbursed, so if we travel in trains, or drive our own private cars, there’s wear and tear on the car. So we’re never out of pocket. If for example, we go to a Superleague match over a weekend, you’re provided with hotel accommodation, there’s a subsistence allowance of sixteen pounds. Above and beyond that there’s nothing else.”
While South Africans have always loved their sport, netball has been embraced back home during the netball world cup. 14 million viewers across South Africa watched the Proteas take on the English Roses in the preliminary rounds – which is a record for the nation.
It has been confirmed, via players’ Instagram accounts, that Vicki Wilson will depart the Fijian Pearls at the end of her current contract. Vicki has been the head coach of the Pearls for approximately 4 years.
ON THE INJURED LIST
Caroline O’Hanlon (captain, Northern Ireland) sustained what looked to be a serious knee or ankle injury, and limped off court. After quickly being treated on the side lines, she jogged back out on court and finished the game. #respect #warrior
Barbados goal-keeper, Shonnette Azore-Bruce, appears to have injured her back when rebounding a ball in her team’s loss to the Scottish Thistles. She left the court to receive treatment and returned in the latter stages with her back heavily strapped. She was unavailable for comment after the match as she left the court with ice on her back and beelined straight for the changerooms. We wish her all the best and hope the injury won’t keep her off court for long.
South African captain Bongiwe Msomi was cleared to play after tweaking her ankle two days ago.
Trinidad and Tobago goal shooter, Sam Wallace played the full 60 minutes of her match today. She looked in fine form and didn’t appear to be bothered by the knee injury which has plagued her all tournament.
New Zealand goal attack, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, appears to be carrying an injury to her hamstring/groin. During today’s match, Ekenasio had her right quad heavily strapped and more strapping was added to it during halftime. While the injury didn’t hinder her performance, it is a concern heading into tomorrow’s big match.
WHO WAS SPOTTED IN THE CROWD
Giants Netball coach Julie Fitzgerald, has been soaking up the atmosphere of the tournament since Monday. We tracked her down for a quick chat after Australia’s match and during the New Zealand and England tussel.
Q. What did you make of Australia’s game this morning
A. For an Australian it was wonderful. For Norma to bring that team up to be so competitive and to know that South Africa can play that type of netball now I think it is wonderful. But if you are an Australian, you’d be happy that Australia got through.
Q. On the game between England and New Zealand
A. I think England are just nervous. I think the crowd and everything is bothering them. I think as they settle into the match I think they will be fine.
Q. If it were an Australian and England final, who would you be cheering for, given that you have players on both sides?
A. (laughs) I struggle with it to be honest. There are so many people in the team that I feel close to, but I am Australian.
We’re glad you won’t have to be torn, Julie!
Phumza Maweni, South Africa On how different it is to be at goal keeper, watching everything unfold. “It’s so emotional, and we can’t control it, because we defend, but obviously the pressure is on the pass and the players as well. You can feel, and you can see the placement of the ball, and they JUST lose control at crucial moments. I always motivate them. Don’t worry, if you miss it, just head up and defend, and I will turn the ball for you. I will turn it again.”
Lenize Potgeither, South Africa: Your takeaway from the World Cup
“It’s a cliché, but it is how well this team has done. Coming from almost being 6th at the previous World Cup to being third or fourth in this World Cup and seeing how we have grown. And just the support we have given each other and from the disadvantages that we have to other world-class teams. It shows that you don’t need all the bells and whistles and gadgets. You just need the people around you. “
Caroline O’Hanlon, Northern Ireland, on the learnings from the tournament.
“We weren’t even at the last tournament so that is a positive in itself. We have shown glimpses of what we can do. Dan has been great and we can see the development in the team. We have tried new combinations and plays.”
Serena Guthrie, England, on the disappointment of missing out on the gold medal match.
“We were confident that we would have been in that final tomorrow night. I still stand by saying that we deserve to be in a gold medal match. We just didn’t do the job today.”
Liz Watson, Australia, on which was more nerve-wracking, watching from the sideline or playing in the match?
“Definitely from the side. I know how our parents feel now from the stands. I think that voice and energy from the bench is so important and when you are out there on court you can definitely hear our bench they are so vocal. It was very nervous out there on court too though.”
11TH VERSUS 12TH PLACING
Scotland 53 defeated Barbados 42
The Scottish Thistles withstood a comeback fight from the Bajan Gems to finish 11thplace at the 2019 World Cup. It is the best placing by the Scots in the last 24 years. The Gems also go home with a better finish than their previous World Cup outing, beating their 2015 placing by 1.
The Thistles started with their tried and tested front line of 17-year-old Emma Barrie and the experienced Lynsey Gallagher. Both shot at 100%, potting 8 and 7 goals respectively.
Speaking after the game, Barrie said she has thoroughly enjoyed her World Cup experience and has learnt a lot. “It has been amazing. I don’t think you can get much more than that, playing against the likes of Geva Mentor, Shamera Sterling etc. That is the best I could ask for at this age. I have learned a lot. It is more physical than I expected. I will go back, build up my strength and then in the next 4 years I will come back and compete better against these goal-keepers.”
Thistles captain, Claire Maxwell, played a true captain’s game leading the side in feeds and goal assists and playing a good defensive game through the midcourt.
Barbados goal-keeper, Shonnette Azore-Bruce has put her hand up for player of the tournament taking 3 intercepts, 8 gains and 4 deflections for the match, despite nursing a back injury sustained during the early stages of the second quarter. The injury occurred as she was rebounding the ball and appeared to land awkwardly. She was only off the court for 7 minutes but in the time she was off Scotland went on a 9-4 goal run.
During the third term, Barbados picked up 7 gains off the back of great hustling defence from Azore-Bruce, Shonte Seale and Latonia Blackman. They got off the body, ensuring they kept themselves in play and were able to pick up the quick, flat passes. By the end of the term Barbados had potted three of their gains which ultimately won them the quarter.
The final term was another strong one from the Scots where they converted 77% of their gains. In the end this was the stat which won them the game.
AUSTRALIA 55 DEFEATED SOUTH AFRICA 53
An unusual starting line-up from Australia skated by the skin of their teeth to make it through to the gold medal play off. See the full match report here.
NEW ZEALAND 47 DEFEATED ENGLAND 45
England’s dream undefeated run throughout the tournament came to an end in today’s semi-final against New Zealand. England fought back in the second term – creating an 8-goal turnaround, but New Zealand showed determination to hold them off until the final whistle. See the full match report here.
10TH VERSUS 9TH PLACING
Trinidad & Tobago 56 defeated Northern Ireland 47
World number 8, Northern Ireland’s PWC Warriors took on the 10thranked Trinidad & Tobago Calypso Girls in the final match of Day 9.
Dan Ryan’s Warriors started the game well, forcing a turnover within the first three minutes to get out to a three-goal lead. Defensive duo, Fionnuala Toner and Gemma Lawlor were tenacious riding every pass through the goal third and forcing feeds.
Toner got her hand to two deflections and put Trinidad and Tobago goal attack, Kalifa McCollin under all sorts of pressure. For her part, McCollin was still confident to go to post, nothing 6/6 in the first quarter but she was guilty of turnovers and offensive contacts, brought about by the desperation to get into the circle.
Northern Ireland captain, Caroline O’Hanlon embodied what it means to be a Warrior when she looked to have sustained a nasty knee injury on their transverse line later in the first quarter. But after hobbling off court to receive minor physiotherapy she tightened the shoelaces and jogged back out on court at the start of the second term, looking as fierce as ever.
After dropping the first quarter, the Calypso Girls came out hungry in the second term, running away with an 8-goal turn-around. Centre, Candice Guerero took charge of the midcourt defence, throwing herself at every ball within two metres. For her efforts, she notched two intercepts, two gains and two deflections.
Caribbean goal-keeper, Daystar Swift, who notched her 50thinternational cap when she took the court, was also disruptive, utilising her 5cm height advantage over Noleen Armstrong to hold post position and force the longer shots.
McCollin and counterpart, Sam Wallace, also grew into the match as the quarter wore on, with McCollin opting for the longer feed from midcourt on several occasions.
The third quarter was more clinical for both sides, as the Warriors began to play with pace, and let the ball fly. Their short, sharp and flat style of play got the better of the Calypso Girls on several occasions and allowed them to bring the match back to within 3. However, a few too many rushed plays resulted in turnovers which the Calypso Girls were able to capitalise on with 100% shooting accuracy.
Speaking after the match, Northern Ireland captain, Caroline O’Hanlon, confirmed too many errors from her side was what let her side down. “There were too many errors and gave them a run. They are too strong a team, there is too much quality that you can’t afford to do that. Inconsistencies cost us. It is something we are going to have to think about when we get home.”
The fourth quarter saw the Calypso Girls pull away further and by 5-minutes left to play, they knew they had the game in the bag. They became more vocal with two minutes left to play and the joy and exuberance was infectious.
In the end, the Calypso Girls ran away 9-goal victors, equalling their 9thplacing from the 2015 Netball World Cup. Northern Ireland finish the competition in 10thplace – two places the worse than their 2011 place (they did not qualify for the 2015 World Cup).
The Daily Liverpool Scoop podcast is available at https://www.netballscoop.com/2019/06/daily-liverpool-scoop-podcast/