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Netball World Cup day five: we’re halfway through!

Welcome back to the Netball World Cup x Netball Super League (NSL) updates blog, where you can keep on top of all that’s going on in Cape Town! In this article, you will find score updates, standout players and much more. Come back daily to read about your NSL stars!

Fixtures:

Barbados vs Singapore: 

Barbados and Singapore took to the court this morning to kick off day six at the Netball World Cup. Team Bath’s Kadeen Corbin and Saracens Mavericks’ Sasha Corbin cemented their places in the starting seven as goal attack and wing attack respectively.

The game was close from the outset with Singapore demonstrating patience and utilising a lot of short sharp passes to keep the ball safe. The tactics worked, enabling them to take an early 3-1 lead. However Barbados were undeterred, quickly settling to find their rhythm and feed the hungry hands of their shooters.

The first quarter finished 13-12 to Singapore, with Barbados opting to switch Kadeen Corbin into the goal shooter position. The change worked; Kadeen held strong under the post, demonstrating great chemistry with Latonia Blackman who were able to help the Bajan Gems take the lead to 29-24 at half time.

Sasha Corbin gave a fantastic performance throughout the match, claiming three turnovers and delivering a stand-out 24 goal assists. The playing experience and connection with her sister was apparent, with Sasha feeding Kadeen long balls with accuracy and capitalising on her sister’s athleticism.

40-40 at the end of third quarter, it was all to play for. Singapore drew on their fitness and discipline to continue battling for the final fifteen minutes. Shooting heavily at range, 12 missed shots proved punishing for Singapore, and as the match closed 55-50 to Barbados, Kadeen’s 95% shooting accuracy helped crown her player of the match in what may prove a crucial win.

Australia vs Malawi:

Strathclyde Sirens’ Towera Vinkhumbo started the game in the goal defence position for her Malawi side. Set to be a physical and exciting game, the Malawi Queens set the tone of the match by taking their first centre pass straight to goal. Lots of body on body contact from the Australian Diamonds did not faze the Queens as their physicality was equally matched. Vinkhumbo against Steph Wood was a match up to behold. With Wood’s shooting on top form, Vinkhumbo’s mission was to keep her out of the circle and to intercept and fight for every ball. With Malawi staying toe to toe with Australia, after going on a huge run of goals up until the final few minutes of the first half, the score going into half time was 28 all.

The excitement of this game was well and truly noticeable as the Malawi fans were singing their songs with extra gusto going into the second half. Australia came back onto court with extra fire in their belly as this was not the game they expected to play. Malawi proved their speed and strength against the world number one’s, challenging for every ball, determined to fight for the win. A few unforced errors by the Malawi Queens gave Australia the opportunity to push ahead and race in front. However, Malawi did not give up as the Diamonds made a few changes to their team to try and make an impact. The confidence by Mwai Kumwenda to turn to post and shoot the long bombs against players such as Courtney Bruce was to be admired. Vinkhumbo now in the goal keeper position came so close to interceptions from Sophie Garbin, who has been shooting impeccably this tournament. Her timing improved over the last few minutes as Malawi managed to convert an interception. With Australia proving their talent, the final score was 70-46.

Tonga vs Scotland:

Today’s match between Tonga and Scotland impacts world rankings between the two sides, with Tonga currently ranked seventh and Scotland tenth. The NSL was well-represented in the Scottish Thistles who began with the same starting seven they’ve used in the majority of the tournament so far. From Strathclyde Sirens, Bethan Goodwin (goal shooter), Niamh McCall (goal attack), Claire Maxwell (wing defence) and Emily Nicholl (doal defence) took to the court, alongside Manchester Thunder’s Iona Christian at wing attack and Celtic Dragons’ Hannah Leighton at centre.

An impressive Tonga side delivered a clinical start; transitioning well through the court, playing very direct netball into the attacking circle and utilising their physical strength to take the first quarter 15-10.

With Sirens’ Emma Barrie brought on at GS in the second quarter, Scotland looked to capitalise on the height in the attacking circle. Christian and Leighton worked well together and used a lot of movement to bring the ball smoothly down. With the Tonga defence opting to double up on Barrie, McCall had more room to move and look to feed Barrie where possible. Tonga’s attack proved punishing, with Nicholl trying to stay as tight body-on-body as possible and pressurize the shots. The Tala’s held on to their five goal lead at half time: 28-23.

The third quarter saw an increase in momentum from Tonga, whose slick style and calm play when in possession enabled them to extend their lead to 44-35 with fifteen minutes left of this crucial match. However, there proved to be not enough time left for the Thistles to counteract Tonga’s clinical and exciting performance. Although winning the final quarter by a goal, Scotland’s 74% shooting rate proved costly compared to Tonga’s 91%. The Tala’s walked away comfortably victorious with a 55-47 victory.

Zimbabwe vs Sri Lanka: 

Pool E’s Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka battled it out in the penultimate session of day five of the Netball World Cup. Both teams had an army of fans supporting them, singing and dancing in their groups for the majority of the game. The vibes were electric. With Surrey Storm defender Felisitus Kwangwa starting at goal defence, her side started of proceedings with an early interception off the Sri Lankan centre pass. With quick passing and end to end passages of play, Sri Lanka did not let the early lead of Zimbabwe faze them. With Sri Lanka bringing on the tallest player in the tournament, sitting at 2.06m tall, Kwangwa was hot on her heels as she managed to get a few interceptions for her team. The battle into half time continued as the pace steadied for both sides, with Zimbabwe leading at the break, 33-22.

The second round of 30 minutes showed just how much both teams wanted this win. Sri Lanka’s defence worked hard against the Zimbabwe attacking unit but they were just too strong in the circle, popping out into the space at just the right time as well as using shooter to shooter balls to ensure a closer and more secure shot. The Zimbabwe gems continued their goal scoring runs but not without the help of Kwangwa who was working extra hard against the goal shooter for Sri Lanka. The squeak of trainers was getting louder as more tussles for the ball were happening due to loose balls being thrown around. Zimbabwe held onto their lead all the way until the final whistle blew; they won this game 71-36.

Fiji vs England: 

An early turnover from Team Bath’s Imogen Allison set the tone for England’s match against Fiji. Her impressive interception allowed Helen Housby to convert. Dynamic duo in defence of Surrey Storm’s Layla Guscoth and soon to be Rhino, Geva Mentor were keen to shut down Fiji’s attacking unit, doing so in style. Co-Captain and Manchester Thunder Captain Nat Metcalf started in the wing attack position today, providing opportunities for her shooters to get into the right space, while delivering the perfect balls, praised by coach Jess Thirlby. A noticeable difference between the two teams was definitely the ball speed. England’s quick thinking and quick passing didn’t compare to Fiji as the ball travelled from one end of the court to the other. With England scoring more goals in the first quarter than Australia did when they played Fiji, it was looking like a promising start for the Vitality Roses. The first quarter ended, 8-26.

50 caps for London Pulse’s Chelsea Pitman was well and truly earned in today’s fixture. Her tenacity and effort to win ball and feed the her shooters was second to none. The link up between Housby, Eleanor Cardwell and herself was so slick. Funmi Fadoju of London Pulse joined the court, working with Guscoth and joined by Laura Malcolm on the circle edge who tussled for numerous balls as they were let loose. A few moments of magic amongst the team; Allison with an impressive steal, the team work within the defensive unit to turnover to goal and the connections through court saw the Vitality Roses hit 50 goals going into half time, 15-50.

Metcalf moved into the goal attack position for the third quarter, adding a new dynamic to the English attacking unit. Her team picked up the pace after the half time break, moving so quickly down court, minimising passes in order to get the ball to goal. Guscoth did well to shut down the short play of Fiji, who kept their passing range minimal and frequent. Jade Clarke of London Pulse, and also England’s most capped player, made her way into the centre position, keeping with the flow of the team. Quarter three ended with the Vitality Roses keeping their impressive lead of 23-69.

Liv Tchine from London Pulse appeared in the goal shooter position, taking a penalty as her first shot of the game. A high ball in from Pitman saw Tchine take it beautifully, landing with such grace and ending it with a swish shot. Her shooting stats being 100% for the final quarter certainly impressed the commentary team. With England trying to reach the same amount of goals as they scored against Barbados, the final few minutes of the game meant fighting for every ball and contesting every pass. Unfortunately, the goal was not met, missing it narrowly by 1, but still an impressive stint put in from England. Now firmly through to the semi-finals, England are set to face Australia in the final pool round. Final score, 28-89.

Make sure to follow all NSL social media channels for updates continuing over the rest of the tournament: @NetballSL on TwitterInstagram and TikTok.

 

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