THE next instalment in the Draft Central Compare the Pair series will aim to analyse two fan favourites from across the netball world, with the next showcasing New Zealand Silver Ferns defenders, Casey Kopua and Jane Watson.
With respective tenacity and a game-winning ability to match, the impressive force of Kopua and Rore saw a clean transition between the two players. Their intensity is astounding along with the constant pressing defence on the opposition, able to anticipate play down the court with ease. Both star performers in their own right, Kopua and Watson step up every time with flair and excitement to match, able to influence the play with ease and intensity. Both players have the undeniable versatility to be an influence in both defensive circle positions, a trait that makes both players the formidable defenders they are and have been on the international stage.
Debuting in 2005, Kopua impressed from the get-go with her constant pressure on both the ball and feeder, while her long arms spoke – and drew in – volumes, able to cherry pick crucial ball out of the air. With an impressive work ethic and constant drive to succeed, the ex-captain was a key cog in defence collecting over 100 caps and coming out of retirement to play in the 2019 Netball World Cup, winning her first World Cup medal while she was at it. Renowned for her game-winning anticipation and impressive aerial ability.
Watson’s hunt in and around the circle allows her to be a constant threat out on court, able to be that threatening and influential goal keeper impacting off the body but also able to flip the switch and hang back, forcing errors from feeders with her ability to shadow her opposition. With stellar vision up the court, Watson has a great read of the play and falls in with her goal defender seamlessly, able to rotate the circle and apply hands over pressure on the shot with her aerial leap and impressive timing to deflect the ball. An explosive defender with a winning attitude, Watson is a crucial cog for the Ferns with her ability to turn over ball while her dynamic footwork and speed off the mark allow her to beat her opposition to the post and influence the play with ease.
112 caps, 2005-2019
45 caps*, 2016-present