Playoffs locked in for 2023 Netball World Cup

THE PRELIMINARY stages are done and the 2023 Netball World Cup is into the pointy end of the tournament. Just four nations – unsurprisingly the top four nations – are left in terms of taking out the overall title, but there is still the playoffs to take place to determine all the spots through to 16th.

DAY 8:

Singapore vs Sri Lanka
Zimbabwe vs. Barbados

The two matches up on day eight are the battle for the bottom four spots in the World Cup with Singapore and Sri Lanka facing off to see which nation can avoid the dreaded 16th spot. They are the two lowest ranked nations in the world, and Singapore got the job done last time, but Sri Lanka is also coming off a handy win over Barbados.

In the other match, Zimbabwe and Barbados are fighting over 13th spot at the World Cup, with African nation having lost to the Bajan Gems, but finished with a far superior goal difference of 46 to 18 in Group E. It sets up for another tight contest, with the loser slotting into 14th for the tournament.


Malawi vs Uganda
South Africa vs Tonga

In the group of ‘so close, yet so far’ the four teams were determined for the fifth to eighth placings. South Africa ended the tournament in fifth spot with a loss to Jamaica and draw to New Zealand, but unfortunately lost out on fourth spot with goal difference. The Proteas will be determined to finish fifth as their home World Cup when they take on first-time World Cup entrants Tonga. The Tala have been ultra impressive this tournament with Uneeq Palavi in particular a standout. Nichole Taljaard has been a star for the Proteas.

In the other match, Malawi and Uganda face off in another chapter in their rivalry, with Malawi currently seeded sixth and Uganda seventh. Malawi only lost to England and Australia due to ending up in Group F, while Uganda went down to the other top five nations in Jamaica, New Zealand and South Africa. Watch for Mary Cholhok up against Towera Vinkhumbo.

DAY 9:

Fiji vs Trinidad & Tobago
England vs New Zealand
Jamaica vs Australia
Scotland vs Wales

Day 9 action is where it heats up with the top four nations playing out their semi-finals in the evening. But first, Fiji and Trinidad & Tobago face off in a 11th placed placed playoff. The former has been an impressive performer this World Cup, while the latter has dropped off the boil compared to its best over the past decade. Afeisha Noel (Trinidad & Tobago) has been a shining light for the Calypso Girls, while Kelera Nawai-Caucau has been rock solid for Fiji.

England and New Zealand is the first semi-final up in the tournament, with the Roses coming off an inspirational win over the Diamonds last night. New Zealand on the other hand drew to South Africa then lost to Jamaica in what has been a shaky couple of matches for the Silver Ferns. Still, there is quality on both sides with Eleanor Cardwell and Helen Housby outstanding in attack, while Phoenix Karaka and Jane Watson are keys in defence.

In a rematch of the Commonwealth Games Gold Medal Match, Jamaica takes on Australia having gone undefeated throughout the tournament and knocking off the Silver Ferns to top its group. It has a massive opportunity to take down the world number ones, while Australia’s only blemish came in a one-goal loss to England.

Keeping mind neither England nor Jamaica has ever won a World Cup and it could be history in the making. Jhaniele Fowler and Sophie Garbin have been outstanding for their respective teams, while Shamera Sterling and Courtney Bruce will look to disrupt their respective opponents as well.

In the final match of the day, Scotland faces old foes Wales for ninth spot at the World Cup. The Thistles knocked off Barbados in the first group stage before scrapping up a win against Fiji in the second group stage. Wales defeated Sri Lanka and Trinidad & Tobago in its matches, but ultimately neither team could get past the top eight nations. Niamh McCall has been a standout shooter for the Thistles, while Wales’ Georgia Rowe is hard to contain.

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