NWC 2019: Day 6 – Fiji records first win while Diamonds and Ferns continue unbeaten runs

FIJI (71) defeated SINGAPORE (56)

The Pearls claimed their first win of the 2019 World Cup with a convincing performance against Singapore. Fiji were cool, calm and collected with ball in hand transitioning well across the court and making the most of their opportunities. a commanding first quarter set them up for the rest of the match piling on 22 goals to 12. Pearls goal shooter Lydia Panapasa made an immediate impact nailing 17 goals straight in the opening term and continued that hot form throughout the game only missing three shots with 41 from 44. Matila Vocea was also important in the goal circle for Fiji finding the net and providing good ball into her shooting partners with 10 goal assists and 17 goals to her name at 81 per cent accuracy. Through the midcourt Aliti Toribau was a key cog helping to move the ball down the court and penetrate the circle with 22 goal assists and a team high 16 centre pass receives. Singapore had their moments with the likes of Charmaine Soh asserting herself on the game with her silky movement in the circle and accuracy to post. She shouldered the load with 37 goals from 42 attempts while Pei Shan Lee and Kai Wei Toh bobbed up for timely cameos in the circle to help out Soh but it was not enough to get them over the line.

SRI LANKA (55) defeated by SAMOA (65)

After an astonishing individual performance in the previous game Tharjini Sivalingam was relatively well held throughout the match. Though her commanding presence, height and accuracy to post was all on show, Samoa did a wealth of work to limit Sri Lanka’s ball movement down the court, making them feed from a distance and applying strong hands over pressure to stop them from delivering the ball into the circle. Sivalingam finished with an impressive 52 goals at 90 per cent but the work of Gayanjali Amarawansa and Nauchalee Rajapaske was significantly cut down with Samoa forcing changes to be made through the midcourt in hope to gain more fluidity in attack. For Samoa Toa Tanimo pulled out all the stops under the post to put up a hefty 42 goals from 44 attempts while goal attack Sanita To’o also had an impact on the scoreboard adding 20 goals to the total. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka were unable to make the most of their chances throwing the ball away time and time again throughout the game with 39 general play turnovers compared to Samoa’s 26. They also drew plenty of attention from the umpires given their physical and at times undisciplined game style 46 penalties to their name. Defensively, Chathurangi Jayasooriya stood up with four gains, one intercept, three rebounds and two deflections but was well and truly outdone by Samoan goal keeper Lenora Misa who racked up a staggering 16 gains, 11 intercepts and 13 deflections in a game-winning performance.

NORTHERN IRELAND (28) defeated by NEW ZEALAND (77)

The Silver Ferns continued their winning ways racking up their fifth straight win and growing in confidence with every game. New Zealand took Northern Ireland apart bit by bit exposing their vulnerabilities and exploiting them to come away 49-goal victors. The Warriors struggled to combat both the defensive and offensive pressure of the Ferns who dominated in each third keeping Northern Ireland to a mere four goals in the second quarter. it was a convincing performance from New Zealand who showcased their versatility and strength with the shooting load relatively evenly shared between the likes of Maria Folau, Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Bailey Mes. Folau top scored for the Ferns with 31 from 36 while Ekenasio was the most accurate of the lot, sitting at 92 per cent converting 26 of her 28 attempts. Gina Crampton stood up through the midcourt using her speed and precision to feed the ball into the circle with 19 goal assists. Up the other end, Jane Watson had a blinder getting plenty of hands to ball with eight gains, two intercepts, five rebounds and four deflections while veteran Casey Kopua also showcased her class with four gains, four intercepts and four deflections. Warriors captain, Caroline O’Hanlon was the shining light using her experience and skill to create space and pass into the goal circle with 28 feeds, two gains and three deflections. Fionnuala Toner and Michelle Magee worked tirelessly in defence but it was to no avail unable to repel the attacking prowess of New Zealand.

AUSTRALIA (74) defeated MALAWI (25)

The Diamonds came out of the blocks firing finding good space and putting on an absolute clinic in defence to deny Malawi any avenue to goal, chopping off forward forays and sending the ball back down the court with pace. Australia kept the Queens to a mere five goals at half-time before Malawi came out with a new intensity to pile on 20 goals in the second half. A last quarter slump from the Aussies allowed the Queens to gain some good momentum scoring 11 goals thanks to Jane Chimaliro owning the goal circle and demanding the ball under the post with eight goals for the term. Chimaliro finished with 12 goals while Sindi Simtowe was accurate for the Queens with 10 from 12. The Diamonds had no issues with accuracy as Caitlin Thwaites and Steph Wood put on a masterclass in the goal circle both sitting at 100 per cent with 22 and 11 goals respectively. Caitlin Bassett and Gretel Tippett also had a huge impact on the scoreboard with the Aussie captain nailing 24 goals while the athletic goal attack only missed one shot with 17. The midcourt showcased their speed and precise ball placement to slice through the defence with Liz Watson, Kelsey Browne and Paige Hadley all combining effortlessly. Courtney Bruce claimed Player of the Match honours credit to her defensive skills picking up six gains, one intercept, nine deflections and four rebounds.

ZIMBABWE (66) defeated BARBADOS (41)

The Zimbabwe girls continued their impressive World Cup debut notching up their second win with a 25-goal victory in the battle of the Gems. Barbados Bajan Gems struggled to overcome the Gems who were simply too strong and too confident going hard at every loose ball and showing great desperation. Pauline Jani was in hot form making the most of her opportunities and using her clever footwork and netball nous to edge closer to the post nailing 51 goals from 53 attempts, single handily outscoring Barbados. Sharon Bwanali also hit the scoreboard with 11 goals while also doing a wealth of work out the front to feed the ball into Jani. Defensively the combination between Rudo Karume and Felisitus Kwangwa is growing and causing havoc for opposition attacks with the two amassing 12 gains, five intercepts and 10 deflections collectively. Through the midcourt Patricia Mauladi was exciting using her speed and dynamic footwork to hit the circle edge hard racking up 15 goal assists. Meanwhile for Barbados Shonica Wharton continued her hot form shooting from everywhere and making it count with 28 from 30 at 93 per cent. Damisha Croney and Amanda Knight were solid through the midcourt but struggled to penetrate the defence at times.

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