Netball World Cup: Roses make it five from five


Vitality Netball World Cup  Liverpool 2019 – Wednesday 17thJuly

Peter Moore at the M and S Arena Liverpool

The INF Vitality World Cup is now down to the business end of the tournament. On Wednesday five more Preliminaries Stage Two matches were completed in front of another very healthy crowd in Merseyside.

In Group E it was Sri Lanka who entertained Fiji in the opening match of the morning. Fiji managed to get the better of the Sri Lankan girls by 59-44, and in so doing moved to the top of the Group.

By the half time break it was Fiji who lead 27-20. A strong third quarter extended the Fijians advantage to 19 points. Fiji continued their momentum heading into the final quarter, to run out winners, with goal attack Unaisi Rayluni hitting 29 goals. Sri Lankan’s goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam was in top form, only missing out on three goal attempts, but still scoring 36.

Samoa maintained their one hundred per cent record in Group E after defeating Singapore 63-49.

The Samoan’s took the opening quarter 16-9. By the second quarter they had extended their lead to 12 points with goal shooter Toa Tanimo missing very little. She was backed up with some excellent scoring from goal attack Tee Salanoa as Samoa went into the half time break with a ten-goal advantage 31-21. The third quarter was an even affair with both sides sharing 26 goals.

In the final quarter Samoa pulled clear once again- after at one stage holding a 13-point cushion. Despite some outstanding shooting from Singapore’s goal shooter Charmaine Soh 21/27 and goal attack Xinyi Tan 17/19, Samoa eventually ran out winners to make it three consecutive wins on the bounce.

England made it a perfect five from five after a clinical display against Trinidad and Tobago. The hosts are through to the semi-finals, where they will meet either holders Australia or New Zealand, after completing a 72-46 victory.

Coach Tracy Neville again elected to ring the changes, with wing attack Natalie Haythornthwaite being given a start. Although it was an encouraging start from The Calypso Girls, England gradually got themselves back into the game and by the end of the opening quarter had built up an eight-goal advantage.

In the second quarter, Rachel Dunn was clearly affected by an elbow injury. She tried to shake of the injury but was eventually replaced by Helen Housby (21/24), who was instrumental in helping England take a 40-22 lead at half-time.

The Roses continued their momentum into the third quarter to take a 23-point lead going in to the final 15 minutes.

Dunn made a welcome return to court for the fourth quarter and was soon back on the scoresheet. Neville, who had already given some valuable game time to Chelsea Pitman at centre, continued to rotate from the bench with Serena Guthrie coming back into the action as the hosts experimented with different combinations.

In the final quarter England stretched their advantage to 27 points, as the vast percentage of fans in the M and S Arena stood and applauded England off after another exceptional performance from the girls in Red.

Coach Tracy Neville was pleased overall with England’s performance. “They started off well, however we smartened up and got back into the game. Trinnie, fair play to them, for the first eight minutes of every quarter they really came hard at us and seemed to die towards the end”.

Neville also praised the partnership of Jo Harten (36/40) and Rachel Dunn (15/19), “They’ve had a lot of international seasons together, they were a little bit scratchy coming into the tournament as they have been playing completely differently for their clubs. We know that partnership is a gold medal performance one.”

The England Coach wasn’t getting to carried away. “Today I gave them a lot to work on because there are a lot of things that we want to smarten up on, but overall I think every single player did their job for us, and that was all that was important to me”.

In the remaining games of the day, Scotland suffered a 67-36 defeat at the hands of Jamaica. The Sunshine Girls started to pull away after the third quarter when they led 50-26. The World number three side in the World eventually eased to a comfortable 67-36 victory.

In the final match of the day featuring South Africa who entertained Uganda, it was The Proteas who were victorious after defeating Uganda 67-40.


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