Compiled by Andrew Kennedy, Katrina Nissen and Jenny Sinclair
Day 4 – Monday 15th July
New Zealand 79 defeated Zimbabwe 36
Zimbabwe took New Zealand by surprise and held the lead for a few minutes during their match. Sharp shooting from both teams kept the contest tight for the first half. Full match report here.
Malawi 47 defeated Northern Ireland 43
In a match featuring two different styles of play, Malawi came out hard-fought victors. Malawi played a more physical style of game notching up 60 contact penalties to Northern Ireland’s 37.
Northern Ireland’s defence specialist Fionnuala Toner, said after the game that her side struggled to adjust to the umpire’s calls at times and began to back off toward the end of the match. “It is difficult when they are coming in late and coming hard. It is difficult to take the ball, reset and then look for that option in attack. I think that the cumulative effect of that does put a bit of wear and tear on you.”
It was a game full of milestones with Malawi’s Joyce Mvula celebrating her 50th test cap, her captain, Joanna Kachilika, celebrated her 100th. Yet, Kachilika says the milestone was not her focus when heading into the match. “I did not even give it a thought. I am happy and excited. To play 100 international matches is not easy. I thank God for that.”
Speaking after the match, Northern Ireland coach, Dan Ryan, was proud of his team’s efforts. “I am obviously disappointed in the end result but I am really proud of the effort and resilience that our team showed today. Yesterday was pretty heartbreaking for us and took quite a toll on us emotionally. We had honest discussions about how we were going to respond to it. Our biggest test today wasn’t the scoreline, it was how we stood up and showed up for the game.”
In an interesting move, Dan Ryan has opted to not rotate his team too much this tournament. While many teams are resting certain players for the harder matches, Dan has opted to leave several athletes on for the full matches. When asked about it he acknowledges that he is asking a lot of his players. “We have the extended rest time tomorrow so it will be a good time to freshen up some legs but it has been about trying to keep the edge but also read the players.”
Australia 91 defeated Barbados 22
Australia produced their first full 60-minute performance when they easily dispatched Barbados in the last match of the morning session. Australia’s incredible zone defence kept Barbados 2 goals during the second quarter. This is the second time they have achieved the record low defensive effort this tournament (the first being in their match against Sri Lanka on Day 3).
Find the full match report here.
Sri Lanka 88 defeated Singapore 50
Sri Lanka got their first win of the tournament on Day 4. In an incredible performance, Sri Lanka’s Tharjini Sivalingam shot 76 goals from 78 attempts (97.4%). They will have a tougher match tomorrow when they face Samoa.
Singapore are yet to get a win and won’t find it any easier when they face Fiji on Day 5.
England 56 defeated Jamaica 48
In a hard-fought contest between the two sides, it was England who prevailed by using strong, clean defence, which forced Jamaica into turnovers.
Find the full match report here.
Samoa 55 defeated Fiji 54
Samoa fought back against a tenacious Fiji to take the win in the dying moments of the game. Samoa led the match by 3 going into halftime but Fiji took the lead thanks to a 12-7 third quarter. Fiji had many opportunities to take the match yet ill-discipline let them down as they effectively whistled themselves out of the game with their 83 penalties. Samoa’s goal shooters were impressive, both shooting above 90%.
Uganda 57 defeated Trinidad & Tobago 54
The closely contested match was a battle of the two shooting ends. Trinidad & Tobago hit 95% of their targets, while Uganda rotated all four of their shooters for a 92% return. Both sides played possession netball, although every pass was fiercely contested.
Both Peace Proscovia (Uganda) and Sam Wallace (Trinidad & Tobago) were sporting heavily strapped knees. In concerning signs for their Suncorp franchises, each player acknowledged they were feeling the effects of the punishing schedule. Their rest day can’t come around soon enough with players spending the day in recovery mode – compression boots, massage and stretching.
South Africa 66 defeated Scotland 38
South Africa continued their strong form from yesterday, recording a comfortable win against Scotland. Both sides rotated all 12 players out on court, resting weary bodies after four gruelling days. South Africa’s defence were dominant, while Lenize Potgeiter shot a perfect 30/30.
South Africa’s Karla Pretorius said her side was relishing the chance to have a rest day ahead of their balance before Uganda noting it will be a fierce contest. “They always bring their best game when they are playing against their mates. So we are expecting a tough battle and certainly aren’t underestimating them.”
What caught our eye
England Netball Head of Officiating, Gary Burgess, celebrated umpiring his 100th international test match during the Northern Ireland vs Malawi match. The moment was extra special for Gary because he is the first English umpire to reach the milestone but also the first male umpire to do so. To mark the occasion, Gary was given a ceremonial whistle to use during the match which he will, reluctantly, gift to England Netball Archives for a museum exhibit.
“Acme gave me an engraved 100 with a GB on the other bevel side. I am really disappointed though, and this is such a geeky umpire thing, but it blows really well and it sounds great but it is a one use only. It is going to the museum in Huddersfield.”
Gary will be celebrating his 100 by doing analysis, drinking water and getting to bed early.
During the same Northern Ireland v Malawi match, Queens’ wing defence Joanna Kachilika played her 100th international test match. Congratulations Joanna.
Malawi’s Joyce Mvula celebrated her 50th international test cap during today’s match. Congratulations Joyce.
Australia’s Caitlin Thwaites celebrated her 50th international test cap during today’s match against Barbados. Congratulations Caitlin.
The African nations love to celebrate every win, loss or milestone. Last night, on our way home, we saw the whole South African team, coaches included, celebrating with fans. Captain Bongiwe Msomi and goalkeeper Phumza Maweni were dancing, while others were happily taking selfies. Everyone was in good spirits, celebrating Bongi’s 100th cap and their hard-fought win over Jamaica.
There have been spontaneous dance parties breaking out everywhere outside the M&S Bank Arena. Zimbabwe fans in particular are so joyous and proud of how well their team is going. When their side overcome Sri Lanka on day one, fans were seen shedding tears of joy. Now that they have advanced into the top 12 the celebrations have reached a whole new level. Their joy is so infectious that you can’t help but smile when you see them, and maybe boogey along with them a little bit.
We spoke to some of the Zimbabwe fans about what it means to them, and to Zimbabwe to have their country represented here at the Netball World Cup.
“We are very happy to be here! We have travelled all the way from Manchester to support our Zim girls, so we are hoping they will make it, to take the trophy home. So we are hoping they will go into the quarterfinals
“Yes, we are always like this at sports, supporting our guys. The songs are in Shona, Ndebele, or English. Zimbabwean people we are one love, respect, we treat everybody the same, because we got other people from our country, the Muslims, all nationalities, one community, one love.
“If we win today, celebrations! Celebrations throughout the night! If we lose we still have to support our girls, because they’ve made their way from Zimbabwe up to the UK, so it’s a big big benefit for us. So we still embrace them, and give them a laugh to go home with.”
The British media has picked up on just how tough netballers are. Used to the relatively more leisurely pace of a Cricket or Rugby World Cup, there’s been a lot of chat around games taking place day after day. Coach Lisa Alexander shared her thoughts, saying, “It’s just not ideal for having your very best netball played. I think it’s underappreciated how intense our sport is.”
“I would probably have a few more day’s off in between..the preliminary stage and the next stage. Unfortunately, I know why it can’t happen, and that’s the reality of our sport. We have to deal with what we have, and the fact is that some countries can’t afford to be here any longer.”
When asked if the INF has addressed the issue, Alexander responded, “I want to be respectful to the INF because they have a tough job, but I think we need to have a bit more of a round table around the professionalism of the top level and the high-performance needs of the athletes, and also the coaching staff and support staff. Again, I will say the problem is there is a big gap between the rich and the not so rich. We wouldn’t consider ourselves to be a rich program compared to Liverpool Football Club, but it’s all relative.”
“Our General Manager of high performance has put his points forward in letters to the INF, so hopefully moving forwards there will be a bit more thought about that.”
On the injured list
Uganda’s Peace Proscovia and Trinidad and Tobago’s Sam Wallace had some heavy strapping on their respective right knees. Both players spent time on the bench looking after looking quite uncomfortable at points during the game.
When asked about it, Wallace acknowledged the pain but noted it wouldn’t stop her from playing. “My body needs a rest to be honest. There are some serious injuries to be honest. But whatever it takes we gotta play. What can you do.”
“I am in so much pain, I can’t even speak right now. I gotta choke through it. But it is what it is.”
Who was spotted in the crowd
Todd Miller – statistician
Did you ever wonder where some of the commentators’ esoteric information comes from?
The lead statistician in Liverpool, Todd Miller, has been to five Netball World Cups and four Commonwealth Games. His involvement in netball dates back to his early days of umpiring as an eight year old, and he’s now been involved in TV broadcast stats for 28 years. Todd said, “I just love the sport. It becomes part of you. Once it grabs hold, you can’t let go.”
Todd is based in the media centre, a giant working space underneath the M&S Bank Arena. It’s the centre of the spider web from which journalists, commentators and photographers are deployed to where they’re needed. Todd coordinates all the information that commentators and journalists might need across the tournament, allowing them to tell a story. He’s analysed matches dating back to the first Netball World Cup in 1963, collating a range of figures from highest scores to lowest scores, and if the knowledge isn’t at his fingertips, he’s happy to get an answer quickly.
While Todd is constantly compiling stats, the serious work for a pinnacle event starts about six months before the tournament. He said, “Once teams have qualified you have a bit of a handle on what you need to look at and the teams you are dealing with.”
“I mainly look at results, lead in games, any information around the players that is quirky or a little bit different. Also, from a team point of view their form running in, you provide that information for ranking games.”
Todd’s a permanent fixture in the media room during a tournament, working 15 to 16 hour days. Not that he minds. “The pointy end of the competition is something to really look forward to.
Fioannuala Toner, Northern Ireland on playing every minute of the tournament so far. “The legs are feeling a little heavy. I am used to playing a lot of minutes but it has been tough. I’ll regroup and recover and be ready to go again tomorrow.”
Joanna Kachilika, Malawi, reminiscing on her first international cap for Malawi. “I remember, I was in New Dehli for the Commonwealth Games. I only played one quarter against Samoa. It was a great experience. Now as the years go by, as we go around
Dan Ryan, coach Northern Ireland, about facing New Zealand on Day 5. “Obviously it isn’t a winnable game for us. But it is certainly an opportunity for the players here to learn and grown and action their learnings. So it’s about perspective. We have a game against Barbados after that which we can take if we play well. But these players are competitors so we are going to want to get out there and see what we can do against New Zealand that’s for sure.”
Lenize Potgieter, South Africa, about being caught up with the emotion of games. “Noone is a robot. Everyone has emotions.”
The Daily Liverpool Scoop podcast is available at https://www.netballscoop.com/2019/06/daily-liverpool-scoop-podcast/
Photo Gallery from Day 4
Day 4 Podcast:
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/the-daily-liverpool-scoop-podcast/id1471835506
– Humble words of wisdom from Uganda captain Peace Proscovia
– Diamonds analysis with commentator Sue Gaudion
– England Rose Jo Harten on their win over Jamaica
– Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander on the demands of the world cup on the bodies of athletes and the challenges for other countries to play in a different (extended) format of the world cup
– Delighted Zimbabwe fans Sandra and Kudzi bring passion, joy and entertainment to the world cup