Tag: maryka holtzhausen

Memorable Matches: South Africa defeat Jamaica – NWC 2019

WITH netball taking a back seat to coronavirus in 2020, Draft Central is taking a look at memorable matches in world netball history. Next up is South Africa SPAR Proteas’ stellar three goal victory over Jamaica at the 2019 Netball World Cup. Then world number two nation, Jamaica lost to the Spar Proteas for only the third time, seeing South Africa top Pool C heading into the preliminary rounds.

It was a spectacular start that kept the Proteas ahead from the get-go, limiting every opportunity the Sunshine Girls had to get goals and the board and forcing plenty of errors. While Jamaica has a wealth of talent bookending the court, where they lack some star-power is through the midcourt which is where they were well and truly beaten by South Africa.

The first half went all the way of the South Africans, leading by more than 10 goals at the main change. While it was partially down to the impressive scoreboard pressure the Proteas applied, full credit had to go to the defensive efforts of Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni, with the pair denying every opportunity into the goal circle. Where Jhaniele Fowler is a major target at the post for Jamaica, Maweni well and truly shut her down while Pretorius kept the likes of Shanice Beckford away from her range.

Pretorius racked up three intercepts and four gains throughout. A real workhorse through the middle of the court, Erin Burger impressed with her ability to impact on and off the ball and propel the play forward, with Bongi Msomi doing what she does best in attack, running laps around her opposition to hand ball on a silver platter to Lenize Potgieter, who shot 19 goals alone in the first half – only two less than the Sunshine Girls did overall. 

But while the first half was all down to South Africa, Jamaica came out flying to well and truly outscore the Proteas in the second half. A massive 17 goal to 10 third quarter allowed the Sunshine Girls to power their way back into the game, only down by four goals by the final change. Burger was well matched in the second half by Nicole Dixon in at centre, while Vangelle Williams did whatever was necessary to limit Msomi’s impact by blocking her every move – but racking up the penalties as she did so, collecting 16 penalties out at wing defence, only two and one less than respective goal keepers, Sterling (19) and Maweni (18). Khadijah Williams racked up the 21 goal assists to form a threatening combination with Beckford feeding into the circle, racking up 12 alone in the second half.

Where goal keeper Shamera Sterling had a messy first half she cleaned up her act later, only picking up the eight penalties in the second half to pull back the margin, but was not entirely able to limit Potgieter’s silky movement at the post. Sterling only picked up the two intercepts across the entire game, with South Africa aware of the goal keeper’s ability to pluck ball out of the air with ease and able to poke holes in the defensive play.

Fowler dominated at the post with ease in the second half, drawing penalties from the long-limbed Maweni and shooting 23 goals at 100 per cent accuracy to keep Jamaica in the game. It was South Africa’s dominant defensive effort that kept them afloat even when Jamaica came out flying in the second half, with five Proteas collecting an intercept to their name. Where the Proteas racked up elements of defensive pressure, they also kept down the penalties, maintaining the defensive without the physicality. 

The last quarter was neck and neck with neither side really able to grab the momentum, seeing the score see-saw as each team took advantage of their centre pass. But a vital turnover or two allowed South Africa to always stay one step ahead of Jamaica, never conceding a goal for the Sunshine Girls to take the lead. While the defensive pressure was what saw the game come down to the close margin in the end, the phenomenal scoreboard pressure applied by both goal shooters saw the game come down to the wire with little to separate the two stars.

Fowler missed just the one goal all match for 38 goals at 97 per cent accuracy, while Potgieter was just as solid with 36 from 39 attempts. Their respective goal attacks in Beckford and Maryka Holtzhausen were not quite as accurate, shooting at 74 and 66 per cent respectively, but it was their ability to evade their opposition and assist their goal shooter that allowed them both to still have an impact.

JAMAICA 9 | 12  | 17 | 12 (52)
SOUTH AFRICA 16 | 16 | 10 | 13 (55) 

STARTING SEVEN

Jamaica
GS: Jhaniele Fowler
GA: Shanice Beckford
WA: Khadijah Williams
C: Nicole Dixon
WD: Vangelee Williams
GD: Stacian Facey
GK: Shamera Sterling

BENCH: Adean Thomas, Jodiann Ward, Romelda Aiken, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Rebekah Robinson
COACH: Marvette Anderson, Sasher-Gaye Henry

 

South Africa

GS: Lenize Potgieter
GA: Maryka Holtzhausen
WA: Bongiwe Msomi
C: Erin Burger
WD: Khanyisa Chawane
GD: Karla Pretorius
GK: Phumza Maweni

BENCH: Shadine van der Merwe, Sigi Burger, Izette Griesel, Renske Stoltz, Zanele Vimbela
COACH: Norma Plummer

SHOOTING STATS

Jamaica
Jhaniele Fowler 38/39
Shanice Beckford 14/19

South Africa
Lenize Potgieter 36/39
Maryka Holtzhausen 19/29

Top 5 international games of 2019

THIS year marked 12 months filled with international tournaments ranging from the Constellation Cup, Quad Series and most importantly the World Cup.

#1 Australia (51) defeated by New Zealand (52) – World Cup Final

The World Cup gold medal match lived up to the hype with traditional arch rivals going head to head in a one-goal thriller. In the end, it was the Silver Ferns that prevailed in the tight battle after going down earlier in the tournament. The Ferns showed nothing but class, composure and skill to withstand the Diamonds pressure and apply their own scoreboard pressure. Led by the retiring, Casey Kopua the Ferns seemed to have the upper hand with their slick ball movement and zoned style of defence to pick off passes and restrict Australia’s flow in attack. Laura Langman and Maria Folau were other key pillars throughout the high intensity game while goal attack Ameliaranne Ekenasio displayed her skillset. Unfortunately, the Diamonds struggled for consistency with the goal circle changing with Caitlin Bassett, Gretel Tippett and Steph Wood all spending time under the post. It was a heart in mouth game with reputation and national pride all at stake but led by coach Noeline Taurua the Ferns had utter control and never really looked like dropping the game.

#2 Zimbabwe (79) defeated Sri Lanka (49) – World Cup

In their first World Cup appearance, Zimbabwe well and truly announced themselves on the international stage taking it to Sri Lanka with a convincing performance. The Gems did not muck around putting the after burners on in the first quarter to establish a commanding lead and did not let up steadily building on their margin. The outing helped to put talented goaler Joice Takaidza on the map with Takaidza going on a scoring rampage with 59 goals from 62 attempts at 95 per cent. Another star player that emerged from the clash was goal defence Felisitus Kwangwa who showed her defensive prowess and ability to read the play racking up eight gains and seven intercepts. Zimbabwe’s strong performance was just one of many for the rest of the World cup.

#3 England (52) defeated Australia (49) – Northern Quad Series

Despite Australia securing the Quad Series for another year the Roses came out on top in a class match between the two sides. In recent times, there has been plenty of history with England pipping Australia at the post in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018 and once again taking out the win against a strong Diamonds side. The game was filled with intensity, physicality and determination with neither side letting up on the pressure. Roses goal shooter Rachel Dunn was a star under the post showcasing her cool, calm and collected nature to pile on 13 goals in a row while Helen Housby and Jo Harten also played an important role. The lead chopped and changed throughout with both sides trying to find the right combo that could out manoeuvre the other the likes of Caitlin Thwaites, Kelsey Browne and April Brandley all doing the job on the court. The win sparked plenty of joy for the Roses who claimed an impressive win on home soil and set the tone for the rest of the international netball calendar.

#4 England (45) defeated by South Africa (48) – Northern Quad Series

The SPAR Proteas came to play in the Quad Series edging out England and claiming a narrow three-goal victory over the home side. South Africa proved that they have a wealth of talent and can mix it with the best in the world coming up against the likes of talented goal keeper Geva Mentor and owning the circle with their strong holds and accuracy to post. Despite a slow start to the game the SPAR Proteas really built into the game hitting their straps in both the second and third quarter to all but cement the win. It is fair to say South Africa were led by goal defence Karla Pretorius who once again showcased her experience and class to win the ball and transition it down the court. Pretorius paired well with Phumza Maweni to limit the influence of Dunn, Housby and Harten while the match-up between Bongi Msomi and Serena Guthrie brought plenty of intrigue. But all in all, this game was a real coming of age match for South Africa after years of being around the mark but never able to pull it off.

#5 Jamaica (52) defeated by South Africa (55) – World Cup

South Africa got off to a flyer in their pool match against Jamaica clearly asserting themselves and making it hard for the Sunshine Girls to catch up for the remainder of the game. It was close game for the majority with Jamaica clawing back the margin in the second half with a 17 goal third quarter but it was not enough to stop the juggernaut that was South Africa. Lenize Potgieter stood tall once again under the post using her signature quick release shot to full affect nailing 36 goals from 39 attempts while partner in crime Maryka Holtzhausen also played her role with 19 goals. Defensively South Africa had all the answers as well with Pretorius, Maweni and Khanyisa Chawane putting in the hard yards. It was a relatively disappointing outing for the Sunshine Girls who struggled to find their mojo and despite many tipping them to win simply could not generate the same scoring and defensive intent as their opponents. However, it was not through a lack of trying with Jhaniele Fowler leading the way with her commanding height and sheer accuracy only missing one of her 39 attempts. Youngster Shamera Sterling also plied her trade while Vangelee Williams also made her presence felt down back for Jamaica but it was not enough.

NWC19: Day 10 – Trans-Tasman rivals to decide title once again

TWO thrilling semi-finals, two results that were equally one part unbelievable and one part heartbreaking, but Australia and New Zealand will now do battle for the second time in three days after they down South Africa and England by just two goals each.

AUSTRALIA (55) defeated SOUTH AFRICA (53)

The Diamonds went in as deserving favourites, having gone undefeated throughout the tournament and were not only World Number Ones, but reigning champions as well. They got off to the perfect start with Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett chosen to start over usual preference of Caitlin Bassett and Steph Wood. Thwaites and Tippett did not miss a shot in the opening term, nailing all 14 goals, while Liz Watson was instrumental with eight goal assists from nine feeds in wing attack. Up the other end, South Africa was a little loose with the ball, recording seven turnovers to four, though Lenize Potgieter (seven goals from eight attempts) and Maryka Holtzhausen (three from three) were strong as Erin Burger showed all her experience in centre with four gaol assists from five feeds. Australia took a four-goal lead into the first break and by half-time that margin had stretched to eight courtesy of a 17-13 term. Thwaites and Tippett were still running at 100 per cent and Lisa Alexander left the pair on the court, with Watson picking up another eight assists. Sarah Klau was holding up well in defence on Potgieter, who had found her range with all 11 attempts going in, as Burger was again the player to watch for the SPAR Proteas with nine assists.

Both coaches made their first changes in the third term with Kelsey Browne coming to the court for Watson at wing attack, while Khanyisa Chawane replaced Shadine Van Der Merwe at wing defence. The SPAR Proteas seemed to benefit the most, as they restricted the Diamonds scoring to just 12 as they piled on 16 themselves to cut the deficit to four by the final break. It was a high penalty quarter as the stakes went up, with the Diamonds picking up 20 penalties to 18, as well as four turnover to one. Burger and Bongi Msomi caused a headache for the Australian defence, helping themselves to 12 assists from 20 feeds into the goal circle, while Karla Pretorius was having her usual impact, picking up an intercept in each of the past two quarters, while pressing up the court. Up the other end, Klau picked up a crucial intercept, while Paige Hadley and Browne had 11 assists themselves, but elsewhere the connection had dried up. The final term saw Alexander roll the dice with star keeper Courtney Bruce on for Klau, while Watson returned to the court with Browne off, but Hadley shuffled into wing attack and Watson into the centre position. The final term was nerve-wracking as Potgieter nailed three consecutive goals midway through the quarter to cut the deficit to just one goal with four and a half minutes remaining. Wood and Thwaites then responded with three of their own to push the buffer back out to four, and when Wood converted with 40 seconds remaining, the Australians were home. Potgieter and Thwaites both sank all 10 attempts in the final term, while Watson and Burger’s influence in the midcourt was not to be underestimated, with Pretorius and Bruce’s experience up their respective defensive ends also crucial. South Africa had cut the final margin to two thanks to two late goals, but it was not enough to secure a final berth.

Thwaites finished the match with all 30 attempts successful, as did Tippett from her 23 attempts in three quarters. Watson (24 goal assists, 29 feeds and one intercept) and Hadley (16 goal assists, 21 feeds) were enormous through the midcourt. For South Africa, Potgieter 39 goals from 41 attempts was strong despite great work from both Klau and Bruce, while Holtzhausen (14 from 16 and eight goal assists) worked hard. Burger was sensational with 24 assists from 34 feeds, while Pretorius picked up a couple of intercepts, and Msomi was strong in wing attack with 12 assists and 20 feeds.

ENGLAND (45) defeated by NEW ZEALAND (47)

After a massive Commonwealth Games Gold Medal victory last year and a repeat dose against the Australians in the final game of the Northern Quad Series on home soil earlier this year, England was widely predicted as the team to beat in Liverpool. While no one was willing to write off the Silver Ferns who were building nicely, the Roses were the side everyone seemed to expect to make the final, but New Zealand ripped up the script in a see-sawing semi-final. The sides started as their fans had come to expect, not throwing any surprises like the Australians had earlier in the day. It was the Silver Ferns who burst out of the blocks to race to a 12-9 quarter time lead credit to their connections down the court and Laura Langman winning the early battle in the match-up of the world’s two best centres. Langman picked up six goal assists from seven feeds, while Gina Crampton helped herself to four from eight, as Maria Folau (10 goals from 12 attempts) and Ameliaranne Ekenasio (two from two) both benefited from their midcourt’s passing. Serena Guthrie still had three goal assists, but it was Jo Harten who also had three, finding herself playing a secondary role to Helen Housby whom the former shot three goals from five attempts, while Housby nailed six from seven. The second term saw the England side we had come to expect out on the court as they revved into action with 15 goals to nine as both Housby (eight goals from nine attempts) and Harten (seven from eight) lifted their scoring volume. When Ekenasio put the Silver Ferns up by four with just over four minutes left, little did the home crowd expect what came next. The Roses piled on seven consecutive goals to take a 24-21 lead into half-time with Harten and Housby going beserk swapping bibs in the goal circle, but the Silver Ferns were left to rue six turnovers to their opposition’s three. Natalie Haythornthwaite had replaced Chelsea Pitman at wing attack and she immediately had an impact with five goal assists. Up the other end, Ekenasio had scored five goals from five attempts, while Geva Mentor had held Folau to just four from five in a quieter quarter. Guthrie broke even with Langman with three goal assists each, but the English had now taken momentum into the main break.

The second half almost saw a repeat of the first, with New Zealand getting the early start to level the scores at the four-minute mark and both Folau and Harten picking up misses. It was not until the last few minutes that the Silver Ferns picked up the bid, with Housby putting her side in front by one, then the Silver Ferns converting five consecutive goals – four to Ekenasio – before goal-for-goal in the final 90 seconds of the term saw New Zealand retain a three-goal advantage. Ekenasio was upstaging her highly rated teammate with a massive 10 goals from 10 attempts in the quarter, while Langman had again taken control over Guthrie, recording eight goal assists for the term and teaming up with new wing attack Shannon Saunders who picked up three herself. Folau still shot five goals from four assists, while Jane Watson picked up an important intercept in defence. For the Roses, Harten sank six goals from seven attempts, while Housby did not miss from her three shots she put up. Haythornthwaite continued to be a terrific inclusion off the bench with six goal assists from three feeds, while Eboni Usoro-Brown worked hard with Mentor, collecting a rebound and pushing hard up the court. The final term was a nail-biter as New Zealand got out to a five-goal advantage in the eighth minute, before England managed three goals from three attempts to cut the deficit to just two with five and a half minutes to play in the match. The home side repeated the dose time and time again, but the reliability of Ekenasio at the post saw the shooter respond each and every time. She was again the preferred option to put the ball to post with eight goals from nine attempts in the quarter, while Folau netted all three of her attempts. Langman finished the game as she had started with another five assists from her five feeds, leading New Zealand to a remarkable 47-45 win. Housby (seven goals from eight attempts) and Harten (100 per cent accuracy from five attempts) were again prominent, as Harten tried everything to will her side over the line with a quarter-high five goal assists in the last, as well as two intercepts and a rebound, but it was not be enough as the Silver Ferns steadied and were in front when the final whistle blew.

Langman was phenomenal for the Silver Ferns with a mammoth 22 goal assists – seven more than anyone else on the court – from 29 feeds and also picked up an intercept. Ekenasio converted 25 goals from 26 attempts and worked well with Folau who had 22 from 26, while Watson never stopped trying in keeper with four intercepts and two rebounds to her name. For the losing side, Harten was a star working hard in the attacking third, picking up 11 goal assists to go with her 21 goals from 25 attempts, as well as three intercepts and two rebounds, while Housby had 24 goals from 24 attempts. Haythornthwaite proved to be a vital inclusion picking up a team-high 15 goal assists from 26 feeds, while Usoro-Brown and Mentor teamed well in defence. Ultimately though, it was the experience and grit from the visitors that got them over the line, progressing through for another crack at the world champions.

BARBADOS (42) defeated by SCOTLAND (53)

Scotland secured eleventh spot with an important 11-goal win over Barbados in the opening match of the night. The Thistles were too strong from the get-go to race to a seven-goal lead by the main break. The Bajan Gems hit back to cut the deficit by a goal at the last change, but Scotland steadied to run out 53-42 winners. Lynsey Gallagher scored 27 goals from 28 attempts and had 13 goals assists, while Emma Barrie helped herself to 24 from 30. Claire Maxwell was the key playmaker on the court with 17 goal assists from 28 feeds, while Emily Nicholl continued her strong form across the tournament with two intercepts at goal defence. For Barbados, Shonica Wharton was a scoring machine with 31 goals from 34 attempts, while Samantha Browne picked up 12 goal assists, and in defence, Shonette Azore-Bruce‘s remarkable fortnight continued helping herself to three intercepts and four rebounds.

NORTHERN IRELAND (48) defeated by TRINIDAD & TOBAGO (57)

The Calypso Girls locked up ninth spot with a strong nine-goal win over Northern Ireland. They trailed at the first break by a goal, but took control in the second courtesy of a 17-10 quarter and then never looked back on their way to a 57-48 victory. Samantha Wallace was enormous with 36 goals from 38 attempts, while Kalifa McCollin nailed all her 20 attempts, and had 16 goal assists on the day. Onella Jack had 18 assists herself, while Daystar Swift was prominent in defence with two intercepts and three rebounds. For the Warriors, Noleen Armstrong had 24 goals from 28 attempts, teaming well with Emma Magee (17 from 25) while Magee also had 13 goal assists. Caroline O’Hanlon had a team-high 15 goal assists from 34 feeds, while fellow experienced player, Fionnuala Toner had five intercepts in the defensive half.

NWC 2019: South Africa set to challenge Australia in first semi-final

IN the first game of the semi-finals Australia takes on South Africa. Both countries have been in ripping form with the Diamonds going into the match-up undefeated, while the SPAR Proteas suffered their first loss of the World Cup against England in their previous game.

There is no shortage of firepower across the court for both sides with skills aplenty and experience a key factor for both the Diamonds and Proteas. The shooting end for South Africa is potent with the likes of Lenize Potgieter owning the goal shooter bib and putting her skills to the test with her impressive accuracy, composure and high volume of shots. The quick release on the shot does not allow time for defenders to get into position making her a crucial cog in the Proteas attack end. Potgieter’s versatile game style is also imperative able to switch between a holding shooter and a moving one to make her a constant threat. The addition of Sigi Burger has also worked wonders for the SPAR Proteas who have relished her attack and potency under the post while the work of Maryka Holtzhausen has also not gone unnoticed during their World Cup campaign with the goal attack doing a wealth of work to bring the ball down the court and apply her own scoreboard pressure. Through the midcourt the likes of Erin Burger and Bongi Msomi have been influential. Though they both have very different styles their intent and delivery is the same with both players working hard to hit the circle edge with precision. Msomi has stood up throughout the series with her pace and quick feet while Burger has showcased her class with ball in hand to thread the needle, use her vision to slice through opposition defence and apply strong hands over pressure. Defensively the SPAR Proteas have been on song with Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni owning the defensive third. Their strong pressure, quick feet and ever developing partnership has allowed them to pick teams apart and propel the ball back up the other end with speed. Their rebounding ability timely tips make them near on impossible to stop while the work of Shandine Van De Merwe out the front enables them to float off into space and pick off any errant passes.

Though South Africa have plenty of skilled players, Australia is no stranger to the big stage having claimed the most World Cups and going from strength to strength throughout the series so far. With a versatile midcourt, the Diamonds have plenty of options with speed and accuracy the main focal point. Wing attack Kelsey Browne has had a stellar campaign so far claiming to Player of the Match honours credit to her dynamic movement, pace and strong connection with the likes of shooting duo Steph Wood and Caitlin Bassett. Liz Watson has been crucial through the midcourt providing strong drives and attacking intent while the likes of Paige Hadley has had her moments of brilliance with clever tips and quick footwork to hit the circle edge time and time again. With the midcourt showcasing its skill the likes of Bassett, Wood, Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett have all reaped the rewards. All four shooters have made the most of their opportunities in the goal circle with accuracy and volume proving to be no problem for any shooter. Tippett’s unpredictability has caused headaches for many defenders throughout the campaign while Bassett and Thwaites have stood tall under the post. Defensively the Diamonds have a plethora of options with Courtney Bruce putting her best foot forward in each and every game. The goal keeper has showcased her strength and defensive prowess going out and hunting the ball and using her quick feet and cleanliness to attack the ball from every angle making her a real threat for the Diamonds. Sarah Klau has not taken a backwards step going hard at every contest and using her impressive lean over the shot to wreak havoc while Jo Weston and April Brandley have continued their strong form. Youngster Jamie-Lee Price has been crucial through the midcourt covering her opponent well and using her clever body positioning and footwork to gain timely tips.

With both Bruce and Potgieter in hot form it will be an exciting match-up with both players expected to go toe-to-toe while up the other end Bassett and Maweni will create plenty of interest given their aerial nature. The battle will ultimately be won in the midcourt with star players in both the shooting and defensive circles.

NWC19: Day 8 – Diamonds and Roses top groups as Calypso Girls split points with Thistles

NORTHERN IRELAND (46) defeated BARBADOS (43)

Northern Ireland has secured a top 10 place at the Netball World Cup after seeing off Barbados in a three-goal thriller on the final day of the Preliminary Stage Two. It means the Warriors finish above rivals Scotland, and face Trinidad and Tobago for ninth place. In the game, Barbados took an early one-goal lead at the final break, before the Warriors levelled the scores by half-time. Northern Ireland skipped out to a four-goal advantage heading into the final break which proved to be the difference in the end, as the Bajan Gems could only cut into the deficit by one to go down 43-46. Caroline O’Hanlon was absolutely phenomenal for Northern Ireland, helping herself to 22 goal assists, 39 feeds and four intercepts, whilst fellow experienced Warrior, Fionnuala Toner took in four intercepts and had four deflections. Goal shooter Noleen Armstrong was accurate at the post with 19 goals from 21 attempts, whilst Emma Magee shot 22 from 29 at goal attack. For the losing side, Shonette Azore-Bruce continued her terrific World Cup four to record another four intercepts and two rebounds as well as nine deflections, while Latonia Blackman (19 goals from 20 attempts, 15 goal assists and 18 feeds) and Shonica Wharton (24 from 26) were reliable in the goal circle.

AUSTRALIA (50) defeated NEW ZEALAND (49)

Australia and New Zealand have played out the game of the tournament in a tale of two halves that resulted in the reigning champions getting home by a single goal. The Diamonds took control in the first half to lead by three and six goals at the first two breaks, before the inevitable Silver Ferns fightback came to the fore. New Zealand outscored their Trans-Tasman rivals 14-12 in the third then roared back into the contest in a nail-biting final term, only falling one-goal short, 49-50. With a three minutes left on the clock and Diamonds shooter Caitlin Bassett sinking a goal to make it a three-goal advantage, the Silver Ferns looked gone until three consecutive goals levelled the scores with just over a minute to play. The Australian held their nerve and their defensive structures for Bassett to sink the winning goal in the final minute, before Maria Folau had a chance to level the scores at the final whistle, but missed. Bassett finished 37 goals from 41 attempts, while Steph Wood assisted had 13 goal assists to match her 13 goals. Up the other end, Folau (21 from 24) was her usual self at the post, while Ameliaranne Ekanasio had 20 from 24 but also picked up five goal assists, 15 centre pass receives, eight feeds and two rebounds. Australian goal keeper Courtney Bruce was sensational once again with three intercepts, three rebounds and eight deflections, teaming well with Jo Weston (two intercepts, two rebounds and four deflections. For the Silver Ferns, Casey Kopua helped herself to three intercepts, three deflections and a rebound, while Laura Langman stepped up when her side needed her to finish with a game-high 16 goal assists as well as 26 feeds.

ZIMBABWE (43) defeated by MALAWI (59)

Malawi has earned the right to battle for the number two African nation after seeing off Zimbabwe in the final round of Preliminary Stage Two, avoiding a head-to-head with Jamaica in the next round as a bonus. The Queens were just too clinical for everyone’s second side at the World Cup in the Gems, winning each of the four quarters, but by no more than six goals on their way to a 59-43 triumph. Joyce Mvula showed off all of her experience for the Queens, finishing with 41 goals from 43 attempts, while Jane Chimaliro (18 from 20) also had 16 goal assists and 17 feeds. It is hard to look past the performances of Towera Vinkumbo and Takondwa Lwazi however, with the pair absolutely sensational in defence and midcourt respectively. Vinkhumbo picked up a massive six interceptions, eight defelections and two rebounds, while Lwazi had 32 goal assists – double the next highest player on the court – as well as 47 feeds – 30 more than the next highest – and four deflections. For Zimbabwe, goal defence Felisitus Kwangwa continued her great form with two intercepts, one rebounds and six deflections, whilst up the other end, Joice Takaidza got it done in the circle with 22 goals from 24 attempts. Pauline Jani (13 from 15) was the other key scorer for the Gems.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (43) drew with SCOTLAND (43)

In a remarkable game, Scotland has held on against Trinidad and Tobago for the sides to record the first draw at the 2019 Netball World Cup. Battling each other for their first win in Pool G, they could not be split by the final whistle as the Thistles led by two goals at the first break before the Calypso Girls battled back to level by the final break. In a low-scoring final term, both sides could only manage the nine goals each and finished on 43 goals apiece. Sam Wallace was the standout shooter on the court showing off her Suncorp Super Netball (SSN) experience with 29 goals from 30 attempts as well as six goal assists and six feeds, whilst Kalifa McCollin finished with 14 from 17, assisting well with 12 goal assists and 22 feeds. Candice Guerero was key in the midcourt with 14 goal assists and 25 feeds – both team-highs, while picking up three deflections and an intercept. For the Thistles, Lynsey Gallagher (23 goals from 25 attempts) worked hard in the goal circle for 10 goal assists, 10 centre pass receives and 14 feeds, only bettered on the assist end from Claire Maxwell who finished with 16 as well as 33 feeds out of the middle. Emma Barrie scored 17 goals from 21 attempts, whilst Nicola McCleery linked up well in the attacking end with 21 centre pass receives, 14 feeds and nine goal assists. The draw means Trinidad and Tobago finish higher based on their other results against teams, which means they battle for ninth spot against Northern Ireland, while Scotland hope to get one over Barbados in the battle for eleventh.

JAMAICA (61) defeated UGANDA (48)

Jamaica has cruised into the next stage with a handy 61-48 victory over Uganda. The Sunshine Girls raced to a four-goal lead at the first break, then piled on 22 goals to 11 in the second term to all but end the contest there thanks to a 15-goal half-time lead. They extended the advantage to 17 by the final break before Uganda hit back to score some consolation goals and cut the final deficit to 13. The two towering SSN shooters were dominant for their sides with West Coast Fever’s Jhaniele Fowler scoring 38 goals from 39 attempts for the winners, while Sunshine Coast Lighting’s Peace Proscovia did not miss a shot from her 28 attempts for the losers. Midcourters Nicole Dixon (13 goal assists, 14 feeds), Khadijah Williams (10 goal assists, 25 centre pass receives and 19 feeds) and Adean Thomas (15 goal assists, 24 feeds) all stepped up, while Queensland Firebirds’ shooter Romelda Aiken finished with nine goals from 11 attempts for Jamaica. On the other side, Jesca Achan (15 goal assists, 32 feeds) and Ruth Meeme (14 goal assists, 32 feeds) were prolific through midcourt, while Racheal Nanyonga did it all with 12 goals from 19 attempts, 12 goal assists and 17 feeds. Both sides head into the next stage in contention for a top five spot, with Jamaica to face Zimbabwe and Uganda to meet continent rival, Malawi in a bid to play for fifth spot. The losers from both games end up facing off for seventh.

ENGLAND (58) defeated SOUTH AFRICA (47)

A dominant first quarter helped England to secure top spot in Group G and live up to expectations as pre-tournament favourites on home soil. The Roses raced away to an eight-goal lead at the first break and despite some great play from the SPAR Proteas, were never headed. The home side kept up the pressure throughout the match, leading by as much as 13 goals by the final change, before South Africa managed to win the last term with a 17-15 quarter but still fell short, 47-58. It was an even team performance from the English with Helen Housby (24 goals from 26 attempts) and Jo Harten (30 from 33) both prolific in the goal circle, while Housby also had seven goal assists, 13 centre pass receives and seven feeds. In midcourt, the experience of Serena Guthrie (14 goal assists and 26 feeds) and Chelsea Pitman (12 goal assists, 19 centre pass receives and 16 feeds) was obvious on the attacking end, whilst up the other end, Jade Clarke had a three deflections, only beaten by the world class Geva Mentor who picked up six deflections and four rebounds in a dominant display. Speaking of world class, Karla Pretorius was a thorn in the Roses’ side with three intercepts – the same amount as the entire English side – and two deflections, whilst in attack, Lenize Potgieter (17 goals from 21 attempts) and Sigrid Burger (11 from 12) shared the goal shooter role, as Maryka Holtzhausen was prominent, though inaccurate with 19 from 27, as well as six goal assists and nine feeds. Erin Burger had a team-high 15 goal assists and 34 feeds in a vital role at centre. Now England face New Zealand in the semi-finals, while South Africa meet reigning champions Australia with the two matches to determine the 2019 Netball World Cup final.

NWC 2019: Day 7 – Jamaica miss out on semi-finals for first time since 1995

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (46) defeated by ENGLAND (72)

England snatched a victory in a first half slaughter over the Calypso Girls, finding the ball with ease all across the court to secure a 39 goals to 24 lead at half-time to set up a dominant win. It was the Calypso Girls’ turnovers that lost the match for them, leading the penalty count by 13 and the turnovers by 15. England were their usual clean and classy selves, accurate as ever credit to smooth movers Jo Harten (36 goals from 40 attempts), Helen Housby (21 from 24) and Rachel Dunn (15 from 19) who rotated seamlessly in the goal circle. From her three quarters on court, the versatile Nat Haythornthwaite found plenty of ball on circle edge to feed with 19 assists from 33 feeds, while the other end saw Eboni Usoro-Brown rack up four intercepts and a pickup in her respective three quarters on court, pairing with ease with both Geva Mentor and Fran Williams to provide insane defensive pressure and create turnovers. Meanwhile, Serena Guthrie showcased her versatility across the court, starting in centre before rotating through both wing attack and wing defence as England looked to share the load ahead of the semi-finals stage. For Trinidad and Tobago, Kalifa McCollin and Sam Wallace shared the load well to combine for the side’s 46 goals from 51 attempts. However it was the feeding that didn’t work out for the Calypso Girls, with Candice Guerero dominating assists with 22 from 36 feeds and six turnovers. Meanwhile, defender Daystar Swift picked up 17 penalties alone and only the one intercept in less than full game time, giving the Roses shooters far too much easy ball in the goal circle.

JAMAICA (67) defeated SCOTLAND (36)

Jamaica got another win back in the books but it unfortunately was not enough after going down to both South Africa and England, meaning the side misses out on a semi-finals spot for the first time since 1995. Scotland put up a tough fight, finding plenty of ball against the disheartened Sunshine Girls, however still went down by 31 goals against the tall but speedy side. Lynsey Gallagher (11 from 11) and Emma Barrie (19 from 22) put in the hard yards in goals, but just couldn’t compete with Jamaica on a mission and all four of their defenders out to defender their honour, racking up 14 gains and seven intercepts between them. The Thistles had a lot of trouble making it past the long arms and vertical leap of the likes of Shamera Sterling, picking up only 34 assists between five players from 77 feeds, proving the influence of Jamaica’s height and skill despite them not making the semis. Defensively, Hayley Mulheron stood out for Scotland with four gains and three intercepts credit to her ability to find space and meet Jamaican shooters, Jhaniele Fowler (45 from 48) and Romelda Aiken (13 from 16) at the ball. Interestingly there was an even penalty count, with both sides racking up a whopping 47 penalties apiece as they battled for dominance.

SOUTH AFRICA (67) defeated UGANDA (40)

Uganda put up a tough fight against South Africa, fighting back after conceding 19 goals to 10 in the first before South Africa dominated the second half to come away 27 point victors. Lenize Potgieter was consistent as ever at the post for the SPAR Proteas, shooting 46 goals at 94 per cent and pairing with Maryka Holtzhausen who shot 21 from 23, aiding well at the post. A shared midcourt effort saw the goal assists split four ways with Holtzhausen finding Potgieter with ease for 17 assists to her name while Bongi Msomi, Erin Burger and Izette Griesel generated a further 16, 15 and 12 assists on their way to a dominant performance on the circle edge. The Proteas’ speed through the midcourt is credit to their respective impeccable read of play, with circle defenders, Karla Pretorius (eight gains, four intercepts) and Phumza Maweni (three gains, four intercepts) providing plenty of turnover ball back down the court to goal. For Uganda, the usually unstoppable Peace Proscovia (13 from 14) was stopped in her tracks by fellow Sunshine Coast Lightning teammates in Pretorius and Maweni, who found plenty of ball through defence to stop play in its tracks and take advantage of space through the midcourt. Versatile goaler, Stella Oyella put on a clinic with 27 from 30, finding the ring with ease shooting from mid-range. Meanwhile, Stella Nafuka produced three gains in goal keeper. It was Uganda’s 20 turnovers that ultimately lost them the match, with South Africa only producing eight turnovers across the 60 minutes.

SRI LANKA (44) defeated by FIJI (59)

Fiji got their second win on the board in as many days, defeating Sri Lanka by 15 goals after a shaky start and end to the match. It was the combined 37 goal middle quarters that got them the win, however, relegating Sri Lanka to only 17 goals in the middle 30 minutes. For Sri Lanka, Tharjini Sivalingam was dominant as ever shooting 36 of Sri Lanka’s 44 goals at a lower accuracy that usual with 93 per cent, credit to the defensive pressure applied by Fiji’s smaller defenders. Gayanjali Amarawansa racked up 35 feeds however had plenty of issues finding shooting opportunities in the goal circle, with only 12 assists. Meanwhile, Chathurangi Jayasooriya found plenty of ball defensively with five gains and two intercepts, joined by Nauchalee Rajapakse with another two intercepts for an all round performance, but with 39 turnovers to 27 the Lankans were never going to come out on top. Fiji put on an impressive performance, shooting at a combined 82 per cent credit to the shared load of Unaisi Rauluni (29 goals, 16 centre pass receives) and Matila Vocea (25 goals), fed well by Kaitlyn Fisher (20 assists from 30 feeds) and Aliti Toribau (17 assists from 28 feeds and 14 centre pass receives). The real gamechanger however was Episake Kahatoka in goal keeper, racking up a whopping 12 gains and nine intercepts along with only 11 penalties in only 38 minutes of court time.

SINGAPORE (49) defeated by SAMOA (63)

Samoa got their second win on the board to likely secure a mid-range position in the competition rankings, dominating from the get-go against Singapore to win by 14 goals. Singapore were vastly cleaner than the Samoans with 15 less penalties but were clearly beaten across the court with the physical presence of Samoa producing plenty of loose ball, with both sides racking up 29 turnovers, proving Samoa worked better with the ball they got. Samoa’s Toa Tanimo topscored with 45 goals from 48 attempts, shooting majority of the side’s goals and almost outshooting Singapore alone. She was well fed in the circle by her midcourters with Ann Helen Nu’uali’itia producing 21 assists from 36 feeds, aided by Ariana Luamanu with 20 from 32 feeds. Defensively, Rachel Rasmussen and Lenora Misa were phenomenal collecting a combined 17 gains and 10 intercepts, running ragged to force turnovers from Singapore’s struggling midcourt and goal circle. For Singapore, Charmaine Soh was impressive missing only six shots to add 21 goals to the tally, followed by Xinyi Tan (17 from 19) and Kai Wei Toh (nine from 13). Singapore found a good amount of loose ball but were unable to capitalise, with Aqilah Andin (three gains from five deflections), Sindhu Nair (two intercepts) and Carmen Goh (two intercepts) finding some good ball.

NWC 2019: Pool G preview

POOL G will see some exciting games throughout the second stage of the World Cup with three of the top five nations all within the same group. South Africa, Jamaica and England will all face each other throughout the stage while Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago and Scotland round out the rest of the teams in the pool. We take a look at two key games from the pool that could have an influence on the next stage.

JAMAICA v. UGANDA

This will be the last time that the Sunshine Girls will be able to assert themselves on the competition and leave a lasting impression. Unable to collect wins against both England and South Africa, Jamaica will want to make sure that they put out a full four quarter performance against the She Cranes who have shown they have what it takes to mix it with the best.

Jamaica have game changers right across the court with highly athletic defenders and shooting superstars that can turn a game on its head in an instant. They have a plethora of options in the goal circle with Jhaniele Fowler able to dominate under the post with her height, ball control and accuracy to post. But if Fowler is not firing, Romelda Aiken is also a viable option given her experience, rebounding skill and strength under the post to bring the ball down with confidence and skill. Up the other end the Sunshine Girls are spoilt for choice with Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Shamera Sterling and Vangelee Williams all capable of winning ball back. Sterling and Dehaney are both renowned for their aerial capabilities and could pose a real threat for Uganda given their skill to hunt any cross-court ball, as well as their respective closing speed and lean over the shot.

The She Cranes have continued to develop throughout the World Cup gaining some big wins and working hard to remain competitive in tough match-ups. With plenty of inexperienced players across the court it will be up to the likes of Mary Cholock and Peace Proscovia to steer the ship in attack and post a hefty total. Although both shooters play a similar style they have shown that they can work together and may have to revert to this method in attack if they are to worry the Jamaican defence. Stella Oyella has also been influential through the midcourt and in the goal circle for Uganda, highlighting her versatility and skill to make an impact wherever she is across the court.

With their place in the next stage on the line expect the Sunshine Girls to come out with a fire in the belly in hope to progress and move one step closer to that elusive title. Meanwhile, the She Cranes will be wanting to make the most of their opportunities on the world stage. All eyes will turn to the match-ups in the goal circle with Dehaney or Sterling likely to face the likes of Proscovia and Cholock who are both dominant in their own right.

SOUTH AFRICA v. ENGLAND

In arguably one of the most exciting match-ups of the stage South Africa will take on competition favourites England in hope to claim a big scalp. Both sides ooze class, skill and experience making for a highly anticipated game.

The SPAR Proteas are littered with game winning players right across the court with coach Norma Plummer doing a wealth of work to create a dynamic and highly skilled team. In the shooting circle, the likes of Lenize Potgieter and Sigi Burger have both proven to be prolific under the post with their silky movement, strong holds and accuracy all impressive. Potgieter’s unconventional shooting style puts many defenders off, making her hard to stop from just about anywhere in the goal circle. Maryka Holtzhausen also poses an imposing threat with her strong drives and ability to draw the attention of the defender. South Africa are also strong through the midcourt with the likes of Bongi Msomi and Erin Burger impressive through the centre and attacking third. Msomi has showcased her speed, dynamic footwork and vision to feed the ball seamlessly into the shooters, while Burger has plied her trade running hard both ways to provide hands over pressure and be an attacking force. South Africa have arguably the best goal defence in the world with Karla Pretorius in a league of her own. The talented defender has a unique ability to win ball that no one else can, read the play and use her quick footwork to clog up space and force turnovers. Her partnership with Phumza Maweni is electric with the two able to limit the easy access into goal and cut off ball time and time again credit to their athleticism and netball understanding.

England are equally as blessed with genuine guns across the court. Having established themselves as competition front runners the Roses are dynamic, slick and extremely skilful with ball in hand. They have game winners in each third with the likes of Serena Guthrie through the midcourt able to turn the game on its head. Her extreme athleticism and speed makes her an integral member for the Roses, given her ability to win ball back and take game changing intercepts. Up the defensive end the likes of Geva Mentor, Eboni Usoro-Brown and Fran Williams pose an imminent threat credit to their netball nous, though will be missing stalwart defender Layla Guscoth for the remainder of competition to injury. Mentor is all class with her impressive footwork, cleanliness and sheer defensive pressure to force turnovers and mistakes by opposition shooters. In the goal circle the Roses possess plenty of firepower with Jo Harten able to shoot from anywhere in the circle while Rachel Dunn oozes experience and composure.

There will be plenty of excitement and intensity in this game with both sides vying for the number one position in the pool and bragging rights. With potential match-ups between Harten and Maweni along with Guthrie and Burger the game could literally be won in any third.

NWC19 reviews: Day 1 – Favourites cruise through as Barbados and Zimbabwe produce magical wins

NEW ZEALAND (64) defeated MALAWI (45)

New Zealand has exorcised any past demons from its shock loss to Malawi at last year’s Commonwealth Games, downing the Queens by 19 points on the opening day of the Netball World Cup. In the first completed match of the tournament, the Silver Ferns took control early with a six-goal lead at quarter time and really strangled the life out of Malawi in the second term, restricting their opponents to just six goals as they raced to a 15-goal lead at the main break. It was tight after half-time but New Zealand still managed to extend its lead by four, eventually getting up 64-45. It was far from a disgraceful loss for the Queens who actually had more possession (53 per cent), but with 23 turnovers to 15, Malawi coughed up the ball more than they would like. New Zealand’s 100 per cent accuracy of the long bomb was a treat to watch, whilst the defensive duo of Casey Kopua (nine deflections, three centre pass receives, two rebounds and two intercepts) and Jane Watson (three deflections, one intercept) restricted Malawi to just 60 per cent under the post. Maria Folau continued her terrific form in the goal circle with 39 goals from 43 attempts, while Ameliaranne Ekanasio posted an accurate 20 from 21. Laura Langman was unsurprisingly solid in the midcourt with 19 goal assists and 23 feeds. For Malawi, the goal circle duo of Joyce Mvula (22 goals from 27 attempts) and Jane Chimaliro (18 from 22) were impressive, although they would have loved to have had Mwai Kumwenda out on the court. Takondwa Lwazi (18 goal assists, 35 feeds) was also impressive playing through wing attack, as was Towera Vinkumbo up the other end with three rebounds and an intercept.

BARBADOS (69) defeated SINGAPORE (34)

Barbados has taken care of business in its opening round match with Singapore, smashing the lowest ranked nation by 35 goals in a dominant performance by the Americas qualifier. From the first whistle until the final one, it was all the Bajan Gems who posted 33 goals to 14 in an explosive first half to all but seal the victory early on. They did not take the foot off the pedal in the second half, though Singapore found greater fluency through to its goal circle reaching double figures in both terms, but Barbados comfortably got home 69-34. The winners dominated across the court, smashing their opponents in feeds (93-57), intercepts (16-7) and rebounds (13-3) with height being a huge factor in the result. Barbados’ goalkeeper Shonette Azore-Bruce was a star with a massive 10 rebounds, four intercepts and four deflections, while partner in crime in the defensive circle, Rhe-Ann Niles-Mapp showed all her years of experience with six deflections and two intercepts herself. Up the other end, Latonia Blackman (22 goals from 23 attempts) and Shonic Wharton (27 from 29) were on point, while Amanda Knight was terrific in the midcourt with 16 goal assists, 29 feeds and three intercepts, whilst wing attack Damisha Croney helped herself to 15 goal assists and 25 feeds. For Singapore, Sindhu Nair had seven deflections and two intercepts, wile the bulk of the scoring was left up to Charmaine Soh (21 goals from 31 attempts).

AUSTRALIA (88) defeated NORTHERN IRELAND (24)

It was a clinical performance from the Aussie Diamonds who proved that they have a point to prove and are seeking redemption. The relatively new-look team held no punches competing hard across the court and using their connections to render Northern Ireland scoreless for the opening four and a half minutes of the first quarter. Sarah Klau made her presence felt in her debut game picking off passes and using her netball smarts to move her feet and get around the body of Emma Magee and Shaunagh Craig. Klau finished with a whopping six gains, four intercepts and five deflections. The Diamonds’ pressure right across the court proved to be too hot to handle with each player firing on all cylinders and flying down the court with precision and pace. The connection between former Sunshine Coast Lightning attacking trio Caitlin Bassett, Steph Wood and Kelsey Browne was in full flight with the three linking up with ease and sighting one another in the goal circle with ease. Browne was awarded Player of the Match honours given her impressive performance, hitting the circle edge time and time again while showcasing her dynamic footwork to outmanoeuvre her opponent. Lisa Alexander made a host of changes at half time swapping five of the starting seven with Paige Hadley making her much-awaited return to the Diamonds coming on in centre, relieving Liz Watson of her duties in the third. Hadley used her strength and vision to pierce through the defence. Meanwhile the transition from Bassett and Wood to Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett was seamless with the two goalers only missing two shots for the game and finishing with 25 from 26 and 18 from 19 respectively. Although it was a relatively one sided affair, Northern Ireland had passages of good play led by the likes of Caroline O’Hanlon who was strong through the midcourt driving hard before she was helped from the court after a big collision with Jamie-Lee Price. Overall it was an impressive performance from Australia who limited Northern Ireland to a mere nine goals in the second half of the game credit to their defensive pressure and strength around the contest.

ZIMBABWE (79) defeated SRI LANKA (49)

In a history-making day, Zimbabwe won its first Netball World Cup match on debut, downing Asian region qualifiers, Sri Lanka by 30 goals in a high-scoring affair. The Gems took control and extended their lead each term to the point it was 11 by the final break. The floodgates opened in the last term as the debuting nation piled on 26 goals to seven in the final term with ease getting to the post. Joice Takaidza posted the most goals (59) of any player in the first session as she and Ursula Ndlovu (14 goals from 15 attempts) created all sorts of headaches for Sri Lanka. Whilst the goalers were posting up high numbers at great accuracy, it was the defensive end getting it done with Felisitus Kwanga picking up seven intercepts, five deflections and a rebound, reading the Lankans’ feeds through to the circle perfectly. Sri Lanka relied too much on their towering goal shooter, Tharjini Sivalingam who admittedly was unstoppable when the ball went in her zone, shooting 44 goals from 45 attempts, but with her posting almost 90 per cent of Sri Lanka’s total goals, it became more predictable to defend. Dulangi Wannithileka did score from all of her five attempts in goal attack, also having 17 goal assists and 21 feeds on the day. Neither side took a shot from long range, preferring to get the ball in close, but Zimbabwe were cleaner with the ball as the Lankans turned the ball over 38 times and were well beaten in gains (5-21) and intercepts (3-13) with Zimbabwe fans confident they can be a serious player in this year’s World Cup.

JAMAICA (85) defeated FIJI (29)

The Sunshine Girls starred with a 56-point win over the Fiji Pearls who simply could not stop the scoring prowess of Jamaica. Fiji struggled from the first whistle with Jamaica kicking into gear and covering all options while making the most of their opportunities under the post. The Sunshine Girls have a plethora of options with star players across the court particularly in the defensive and offensive circle. Romelda Aiken got the nod at goal shooter over Jhaniele Fowler and although she had a relatively shaky start the star shooter worked her way into the match scoring 26 goals from 36 attempts at 72 percent. Shanice Beckford made her presence felt on the court in the first quarter with the speedy goal attack creating space and showcasing her accuracy to post with long bombs sitting at 11 from 13. Though Jamaica got off to a hot start it was the third quarter that really blew Fiji away with a 27 to four goal quarter highlighting their scoring ability and defensive pressure. Fowler made her way onto the court slotting goal after goal finishing with 33 from 35 at 94 percent for a half of netball. with such a strong lead the Sunshine Girls made a few changes in the goal circle pushing Aiken out into unfamiliar territory at goal attack with Fowler down back in goal shooter making for a dynamic and tall goal circle that proved difficult to control. Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Shamera Sterling and Vangelee Williams all starred getting hands to ball with ease and applying strong hands over pressure creating doubt in the minds of Fiji shooters. The top scorer for Fiji was Unaisi Rauluni who managed 10 from 13, she was closely followed by Lydia Panapasa who scored seven from nine. Unfortunately for the Pearls they were unable to penetrate through the defence of Jamaica who clogged up space and came off the body to pick off passes and propel the ball back down the court with pace and precision.

SOUTH AFRICA (76) defeated TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (45)

The South Africans have showed much improvement in recent years, and well and truly showcased their skills dominating against Trinidad and Tobago at every turn. The match started relatively even with both sides capitalising off turnovers, sharing the ball evenly with the SPAR Proteas only up by four goals at the first change. It was the second term that got the ball rolling for the Proteas, with Lenize Potgieter (42 goals from 43) backing up a dominant first term and shooting 16 goals – more alone than Trinidad and Tobago in the second. The third term went much the same, with the Proteas limiting goal opportunities but Trinidad and Tobago lifting their defensive pressure to deny South Africa easy ball in attack with Shaquanda Greene racking up three gains to sit equal with South Africa’s Karla Pretorius for the quarter. The South Africans pulled out the margin again in the final quarter, shooting 20 goals to 11 in the last on their way to a 31 goal victory. Sam Wallace was impressive as ever in the loss, capitalising off plenty of opportunities at the post and shooting 28 goals from 30 attempts as she topscored for Trinidad and Tobago. Defensively, South Africa’s Pretorius was dominant as ever, racking up seven gains and four intercepts, while Trinidad and Tobago’s Aniecia Baptiste racked up eight deflections (two to advantage) and three gains in goal defence. Through the midcourt, Bongi Msomi got plenty of the ball with 17 centre pass receives and 31 goals from 45 feeds while Maryka Holtzhausen had a blinder in at goal attack with 18 goals at 82 per cent, 22 centre pass receives, 18 goal assists and two intercepts. Trinidad and Tobago’s Rhonda John-Davis racked up 17 assists from 32 feeds, while Candice Guerero had 14 from 25 in centre.

SCOTLAND (53) defeated SAMOA (35)

It started off as a close contest before Scotland pulled away in the second half to claim the all important win. Samoa put up a fight going in hard and sticking to their structures to work their way through the defence and feed the ball into the shooters particularly in the first quarter with only two goals separating them at the break. But Scotland just chipped away and slowly wore down their opponents to open the game up and capitalise. In the goal circle the likes of Bethan Goodwin and Lynsey Gallagher stood up with their composure and accuracy second to none with 21 from 25 and 23 from 27 respectively. Youngster Emma Barrie also got a run in at goal shooter showcasing her ability to have an influence on the play slotting eight from nine. Defensively Emily Nicholl was solid for Scotland winning back a fair share of the ball credit to her clever footwork and ability to read the play and drop into holes amassing four gains, two intercepts and five deflections. Though Samoa were unable to sustain their first quarter performance across the whole game they had glimpses of brilliance moving the ball with pace and skill to dodge their way through Scotland’s pressure and deliver into the goal circle. Toa Tanimo impressed throughout the match with her composure and accuracy to post leading the way for Samoa with 18 goals from 20 attempts at 90 percent. Goal attack Sanita To’o was pivotal in attack both in the goal circle and across the transverse line to bring the ball down into the shooting third with 13 feeds and 12 centre pass receives highlighting the wealth of work she does off the ball. Rachel Rasmussen and Gene Solia-Gibb worked exceptionally well in defence bouncing off one another and applying good pressure to try and limit the forward thrusts from Scotland picking up a combined six gains, one intercept and nine deflections credit to their hard work.

Netball World Cup Preview: South Africa

THE 2019 Netball World Cup sees 16 countries head to Liverpool, England, with 60 matches played over the 10-day period between July 12-21. Countries have been split into four pools, playing a round robin in that pool before going further depending on their respective success.

South Africa have perhaps one of the most intriguing lineups heading into the 2019 Netball World Cup, with a number of big names hitting the spotlight in recent years for what has the capacity to be the best SPAR Proteas squad yet. Coach, Norma Plummer has taken the side above and beyond in recent years, curating the side’s natural talent and creating a hunger to go one better with every match they play. South Africa have possibly the most difficult lineup of the top five countries as they are in Pool C, taking on Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Fiji in the opening matches before potentially proceeding forward in the competition.

With a number of big names coming out of South Africa in recent years, the Proteas will be a force to be reckoned with given the talent across the board. Eight of the side’s 12 players currently play in international leagues in England and Australia, proving the potential of this lineup. Captain, Bongi Msomi is sure to be the starting wing attack, courtesy of her stellar feeding ability and speed to find space in the goal third. Joining Msomi in the midcourt are fellow likely starters, Shadine Van Der Merwe and Erin Burger, followed by Izette Griesel and Khanyisa Chawane.

Defensively, the exciting defensive duo of Karla Pretorius and Phumza Maweni has only grown in recent months, with the pair playing together in the Sunshine Coast Lightning in Australia’s premier netball league, Suncorp Super Netball. Pretorius and Maweni have proved they are one of the best defensive duos in the world currently, with an unwavering ability to generate turnovers and find the loose ball. Zanele Vimbela is the third defender in the squad, able to join the play and have an impact from the get-go credit to her agility and hands over pressure. A small hole in the Proteas’ line-up is the lack of a fourth circle defender, meaning in the case of emergency Van Der Merwe would likely move down court to circle defence rather than through the midcourt.

Likely starters in goals for South Africa are Lenize Potgieter and Maryka Holtzhausen, who have an uncanny ability to find the post credit to their footwork and speed with the ball. Potgieter’s quick, nontraditional low-release shot can be a big threat if not defended, while Holtzhausen provides a great backup in the rotating circle. Joining them is Sigi Burger, a goal shooter, proving her versatility with ball in hand, while Renske Stoltz provides a shorter, more agile option inside the circle with an impeccable long-range shot.

Vitality Netball Superleague wrap: Round 13

TWO major upsets bookended Round 13 of the Vitality Netball Superleague and clouded the competition over the weekend, with top five sides, Loughborough Lightning and Saracens Mavericks both going down by less than five points apiece to teams on the lower end of the ladder. Two top five sides dropped big winning streaks along with losing their respective matches, while London Pulse has finally returned to the winners list after a shock victory over the Mavericks. The top five will stay the same for another week, while Surrey Storm have rocketed into sixth to lead the bottom end of the ladder.

In a shock opening to Round 13, the London Pulse were finally rewarded for their improvement over the season with a three goal win against finals contenders, Saracens Mavericks (62 – 59). This was the Mavericks’ third loss in the past four weeks, so they will want to tighten up ahead of the run home this season. The Pulse put up a dominant performance, coming from behind at three quarter time to register only their second win of the season, shooting 16 goals to 11 in the final quarter to get a big win in front of their home crowd at Copperbox Arena. Pulse shooters, Chiara Semple and Shantal Slater were firing on all cylinders and combined for an exceptional 86 per cent shooting accuracy. The pair have really found their form over the last few weeks, pushing their abilities and efforts to the limit to give their side the best opportunity for victory. Despite constant positional changes, the work rate across the board for the Pulse was second to none as they continued to force turnovers from the Mavericks, who did not seem to be putting their best foot forward on court. Ama Agbeze took the court for the first time in a number of weeks, putting in the hard yards defensively in the second half against her England Roses teammate, Kadeen Corbin. Vital errors plagued the side, with Corbin being sent off for two minutes, leaving the Mavericks one player down in attack and giving the Pulse vital opportunities to capitalise, making a win harder to come by for the Mavericks. The Mavericks also had issues forward, with sharpshooter, George Fisher starting in goal shooter, however only played out the first quarter before Australian, Karyn Bailey took the court in her place, putting up a strong effort under the post in Fisher’s absence. Defensively, Razia Quashie and Michelle Drayne worked tirelessly for the Mavericks, but could not get through the Pulse’s midcourt barriers in the final quarter, put up by the home side to keep the Mavericks under the pump.

Next up was a big win by Manchester Thunder, who are sitting pretty on top of the ladder after dominating the Celtic Dragons by 27 points (73 – 46). The Dragons have shown some great improvement over the last few weeks, however could not hold up to the intensity of the Thunder’s ball movement and defensive structure. The Thunder, to their credit, put on a dominant performance, proving they are well deserving of their top spot on the ladder with a full court effort a key attribute of their play. The Thunder were ruthless at the post, shooting a massive 40 goals to 20 in the first half, setting up a strong lead ahead of the second half and giving the Dragons little opportunity to pull back into the game. Thunder played all 12 listed players again this week, giving their young talent an opportunity to take the court and prove their ability. Joyce Mvula was superb under the ring with clean hands and accuracy to boot, while Ellie Cardwell and Liana Leota also dominated offensively. Dee Bolakoro and Stacian Facey put in the hard yards defensively, however could not compete with the volume of shots put up by the Thunder. The Dragons, to their credit, put up a strong final quarter shooting 17 goals, almost equaling their first half score and winning the quarter to prove that their ability is far greater than their performance this round. Kalifa McCollin and Chelsea Lewis put up a good effort against the strength of Emma Dovey and Kerry Almond in the goal circle, however struggled to compete with the intensity and pressure the exciting Thunder defensive pairing maintained throughout the match.

The Severn Stars asserted their dominance in the lower half of the ladder on Saturday night with a nine point win over the Strathclyde Sirens, 49 – 40. The Sirens put up a tough fight, only down by two goals at the final change, before shooting only six goals in the last quarter to come away with a margin non-reflective of the game’s intensity. This marks the Stars’ first back to back win of the season, a feat likely to build confidence going into the final few weeks of the season. A tight start to the match saw both sides struggle to get ball to post, with defenders at both ends putting on a show and bumping up the pressure across the court. The likes of Sam Cook and Ella Powell-Davies paired well to confuse the space for Sirens in attack, giving opportunities for intercepts as they continuously forced the Sirens to pass the ball around the circle for better options on goal. Georgia Rowe was efficient at the post for the Stars but was held well by Hayley Mulheron of the Sirens, while goal defence, Emily Nicholl put in the hard yards against Maryka Holtzhausen to disrupt the flow through attack. Gia Abernethy was strong through the centre court for the Sirens, putting pressure on the loose ball and maintaining fluidity coming back through the centre into attack. The Sirens seemed to lose their steam in the final quarter, only shooting six goals to the Stars’ 13, so will want to work on maintaining their intensity coming into the final rounds of the season.

The second last match of the round saw Wasps Netball host Team Bath in a battle for second on the ladder. With a six match winning streak on the line for Bath in front of a 1,468 strong crowd they failed to capitalise. It was a high stakes game, with the potential to drop down for both teams, but Bath were pipped at the post after an average first half saw them chasing for the rest of the match, losing by 15 points (61 – 46). Team Bath will be rueing the missed opportunity of jumping into second on the ladder, however will also be feeling fortunate that both Loughborough Lightning and Saracens Mavericks dropped their Round 13 matches, meaning the top five stays the same for another week. Defensively the Wasps dominated, rivaling Bath’s full court defence with their own brand of intensity and hands over pressure. Katie Harris and Rachel Dunn saw plenty of the ball with the likes of Jade Clarke and Bongi Msomi on fire, as Clarke disrupted the midcourt, pairing well with Msomi who’s precision feeding was on show. Despite some tough pressure from the likes of Eboni Usoro-Brown and Summer Artman, the Wasps went in hard early to evade Bath’s full court defensive efforts. Bath shooters, Kim Commane, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and Beryl Friday did a good job sharing the load, however did not put up the volume of shots to overcome the Wasps’ fierce and agile defensive system. One of the great matchups of the game was between England Roses teammates and VNSL opposition, Clarke and Serena Guthrie, a lineup that saw both players put their bodies on the line for the ball and fight hard to turn over possession wherever possible.

The final match of the round saw Loughborough Lightning’s seven game winning streak come to an abrupt end, with an average first half leading to a disappointing loss to Surrey Storm (59 – 63). The Storm were far to strong from the beginning, sprinting off the blocks to a 20 goal haul in the first quarter, with South African sharpshooter, Sigi Burger shooting at 100 per cent in the first term. Burger finished with an astonishing 57 goals from 62 attempts to earn player of the match honours, while the likes of Lorraine Kowalewska and Katy Hughes pulled out all the stops to keep the ball away from dominant Lightning shooter, Mary Cholhok down the other end. Hughes and Kowalewska put on a defensive clinic in crowding the goal circle, confusing the space and giving Kowalewska room to leap for deflections against Cholhok, despite easily being 15 centimetres shorter. Kowalewska’s ability to read the play was second to none, while her vertical leap forced the Lightning to adapt their typical attacking structure around the circle. In comparison, it was a lack of intensity in defence that was the Lightning’s woe in the first half, with Tuaine Keenan struggling against the tall and agile target of Burger under the ring, while Vicki Oyesola was quiet in the first half before pulling out an exceptional effort in the second half to pull back the margin. Oyesola put on a show in the third quarter with her closing speed and commitment to the intercept, repeatedly picking up deflections credit to her positioning on the inside line of the ball and pressure on the receiver. Lightning long bomb shooter, Ella Clark took some time to work into the match, with her work rate not quite up to scratch in the first half and struggling to draw the attention off Cholhok in the circle. Fortunately she lifted early in the second half to help draw back the margin to three goals after being down by 10 at half time. Lightning’s transition through the midcourt improved tenfold in the second half, with the volume of shots lifting as the work rate went up – Lightning only put 29 shots up in the first half, but lifted their tally to 44 goals from 51 attempts by the end of the third term. Overall, it was the Storm’s early confidence that propelled them to their fifth win of the season, with a strong final term the icing on the cake after the Lightning’s second half fight back.