With winnable fixtures against Wales and Scotland to close their pool matches, Uganda put together another potent scoring display. The She Cranes hit Wales hard, aiming to close the goal differential with New Zealand and make the semi finals for the first time. The whole match Wales struggled to find their goal attack, and paid insufficient respect to the speed and reach of the Ugandan defence line, gifting them 13 fairly easy intercepts, and allowing them to improve on their previous best tally of the tournament by 22 goals.
GS Chelsea Lewis
GA Caralea Moseley
WA Sarah Lleweyn
C Kyra Jones
WD Suzy Drane
GD Nia Jones
GK Kelly Morgan
GS Peace Proscovia
GA Rachael Nanyonga
WA Halima Nakachwa
C Ruth Meme
WD Florence Nanyonga
GD Lilian Ajio
GK Stella Nanfuka
Umpires: Marc Henning (Australia), Josh Bowring (Australia), Angela Armstrong-Lush (New Zealand) (reserve)
The starting line included a good physical matchup for key Ugandan playmaker Racheal Nanyonga. The Uganda goal attack, used to giving ten or more centimetres away to her goal defence, was for once at eye-level with her opponent, Nia Jones. Wales didn’t appear nervous, but their opening wasn’t helped when wing attack Llewelyn gave a floating ball away easily to the Ugandan defence, and captain Suzy Drane was called for stepping.
There were also missed connections with Llewelyn, normally a shooter, not so well accustomed to her role as playmaker and feeder in the front line. Uganda just seemed to fly out for deflections in the goal third at will, their reach and timing not accounted for by the Welsh. The Uganda transition from defensive gains was solid, and the balance between shooters was just right, Nanyonga driving to the post, or staying at the the edge to feed her target shooter Procovia. Uganda lead 39-20 at half time.
Wales tried the tall-timbers approach of Rowe with Lewis for the third quarter, and then closed the match with zippy goal attack Llewelyn and solid Lewis at the back. In a frustrating outing, none of the players at goal attack for Wales scored any goals for the mtach.
Uganda’s big netball export Peace Proscovia showed her understanding of the circle by quickly resetting to feeders, creating space to manoeuvre herself back nearer the post. She also found herself with a handy mismatch on the shorter Jones when Morgan committed too hard to the defence of the feed. Wales at times acted according to coach Hoornweg’s instructions and turned in the motion of passing, but their lack of experience in the flowing type of catch and release had them undone in the placement of the ball.
Uganda 76 def Wales 40
Peace Proscovia 56/63 89%
Racheal Nanyonga 20/24 83%
Chelsea Lewis 34/42 81%
Georgia Rowe 6/7 86%
Sarah Llewelyn 0/1 0%
Kyra Jones, Wales
On her journey from playing in Australia, to joining the Welsh national team
“I’ve been living in Wales for the last 8 years. I went to be an import player for the Dragons, and I met my husband at the same time. Orioles was a very long time ago! I don’t think there’s a lot of difference. The super league back in the UK is really exciting, the calibre of netball we have is pretty even, from playing back then.”
On the effect of the injury to wing attack Bethan Dyke
“Bethan is a great player, and she will be sorely missed with the injury that she’s got. She’s a bestie for me – we’ve been together on the court since last Comm Games to be fair. She’s been my roomie and everything. She’s one that will be missed, but we’ve also got calibre to pick up where she’s unfortunately left us. Both Bethan and Amanda (Varey) bring different strengths. Amanda is very creative, she’s very fast, she thinks. Beth obviously with her speed and front cuts, their strengths are very different, but both very handy to the team. (With the injury) Beth is very positive – she’s already able to do some things that she couldn’t do. She’s working hard and her mindset is to have the operation and straight into recovery to get back on the court.”
On Julie Hoornweg’s integration into the team as coach in only a few weeks
“Julie’s brought her values, and we’re trying to work with her on that. She’s given us freedom to become thinking players. We need to think for ourselves, because we’re the ones that’re out there on the court, so she’s trying to give us those tools, using her beliefs and her values to put forward on us.”
On the need to speed up the process between catching and passing to match top teams
“That’s something that I was brought up doing as well! To have that come back into my game is really exciting, and it’s exciting for the girls, taking it on board. The results we’ve had so far is not what we’re looking for, but we’re still trying to put this into place, to turn ourselves around. And I think it’s coming, definitely coming, and we’ve proved that to ourselves before we got here. We haven’t put it properly on the court just yet.”
On the combination she has with captain Suzy Drane, on and off court
“Suzy’s lovely! Again she’s one of my best friends. She’s been there from day dot when I first come over, you know, she cares, she… there’s no much I can say about that, she looks after me, I look after her, and we do that on and off the court. She’s that type of humble player that will do that work off the job and does her thing. As a person she’s caring, she’s amazing, she thinks of others, she doesn’t really take much credit for herself and she really should.”