Scotland keeps Australia to its lowest score so far
THE Australian Diamonds were kept to their lowest score so far of the tournament after a second half drop, but still came out victorious by 40 goals as Scotland can take many positives out of their 77-37 performance.
Now into the fourth day of the tournament, it is clear that fatigue is now playing a factor into the work of both sides. The Diamonds faded into only having one option to the ball as the preliminary movements started to disappear with players relying on strong and hard drives.
It was a great start for the Australians though taking the half time score to 43-17 with the Diamonds on track to crack 80 again, but the Thistles came out firing after the main break and were up to the challenge in the third term.
Strong holding target Sophie Garbin had really put her hand up for the starting goal shooter bib after today’s stellar 39 goal performance. She was playing in the back space beautifully with her vertical jump working wonders to pull in high ball after high ball while also dropping back into the space from a hold. She also came out of the circle on multiple occasions to allow for better flow in the attack end with multiple plays being additions to the highlights reel.
The flow in Australia’s attack was slick majority of the time. Driving out wide and cutting back into the middle corridor putting the midcourters in prime feeding position. Jamie-Lee Price (23 feeds, five intercepts, four deflections) was everywhere today for the Diamonds in attack and defence earning herself player of the match. Her feeds were pin point accurate and were placing the shooters in prime shooting opportunity.
The Thistles came out firing after half time thanks to their links from the midcourt to the shooting end. The introduction of Emma Barrie (10 goals) into their shooting circle kept the Diamonds defenders guessing where she was holding in the space but she was also a strong tall target for them, rewarding her side for their defensive efforts.
Scotland’s form did drop slightly in the fourth term, but the combination between Iona Christian and Hannah Leighton kept the Thistles in it as they were unafraid to look straight into the circle and out for a fly in any third of the court.
Despite a third quarter flurry by Scotland, Australia came out victors and look ahead to an even harder challenge tomorrow as Australia will face Malawi who defeated Scotland a few days ago, as it goes against the almighty netball resurgence in Tonga.
Zimbabwe (45) defeated by Barbados (62)
A second quarter blitz solidified the win for the Bajan Gems to get a dominant 17-goal win over an impressive Zimbabwe. The 16-35 half time score to Barbados gave Zimbabwe that much more of a push to perform better in the second half and it did just that. The third term was drawn even with Zimbabwe taking the fourth term by two goals while pushing Barbados to its limits.
Sasha Corbin (40 feeds, 32 centre pass receives, 23 goal assists) had another stellar performance in the midcourt being the dominant ball carrier. Akeena Stoute (four penalties, four intercepts, three deflections) also had a really clean night winning plenty of ball back for the Bajan Gems while staying away from the whistle. Nalani Makunde (30) had another solid day at the post only missing three goals in her full game on court while getting out of the circle and being a good support for her other shooters.
Fiji (48) defeated by Malawi (62)
Fiji came out of the blocks firing in the first term, but Malawi went on to respond with an 11 goal run leading it to take the first quarter 10-20. Malawi do need to be careful though with its players fatiguing with many playing nearly consistently full games. That being said, Thandie Galletta (38 feeds, 38 feeds, 29 goal assists, three intercepts) had a monster day in the midcourt both in attack and defence for the Queens. Maliana Rusivakula (39) was the go to shooter for the Pearls only missing one goal in her 60 minutes, just going to show how much of an impact one player can have against some nations who know how to play certain styles.
Wales (34) defeated by New Zealand (83)
Curveballs were thrown overnight with the announcement of Silver Ferns superstar Grace Nweke being ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a partial tear to her patella tendon where she has now been replaced with Tiana Metuarau in the squad of 12. Now the starting goal shooter position is wide open for the Silver Ferns and Maia Wilson (49) grabbed her opportunity with two hands using her strength and quick movements to lose her defender and open herself at the post while having a 100 percent game.
The Kiwis were playing with a sense of freedom as the connection between Gina Crampton (21 feeds) and Kate Heffernan (26 feeds, four deflections) were ready to let go of the ball whenever they saw the slightest space open in the goal circle, ready for Wilson to grab the ball at anytime off the hand of Jane Watson who’s long arms were everywhere and causing the Feathers havoc. Nia Jones (26 centre pass receives) was in control of the midcourt from wing defence racking up the most centre pass receives for Wales, just going to show how much pressure the Kiwis were placing on the centre passes resulting on Wales needing to go back to go forward.