Taini Jamison Trophy Head-to-Head: Kelly Jury vs. Shimona Nelson
JUST one more sleep until the first match of the Taini Jamison Trophy takes place at Eventfinda Stadium, with the heavily fancied New Zealand Silver Ferns taking on the Jamaica Sunshine Girls. In our Head-to-Head for the first game we take a look at one of the keys in the match, the battle between stand-in Jamaican captain Shimona Nelson and Silver Ferns defender Kelly Jury.
01/12/1998 | 195cm
The Jamaican will have massive shoes to fill in the absence of Jhaniele Fowler not only in the shooting circle, but also in the leadership department, taking over the role as captain in the West Coast Fever goal shooter’s absence. Often utilised as a bench player and rotation option for the Jamaicans, Nelson would start for just about every nation outside the top five, but having Fowler in the same colours makes it difficult to start. Regardless, at 23 years old, Nelson has a bright future both at domestic level – where she represents Collingwood in the Suncorp Super Netball – and international level.
22/10/1996 | 192cm
As incredibly consistent as they come, Jury has been a massive figure for the Silver Ferns at international level and one of the best defenders in the ANZ Premiership. At the Commonwealth Games, Jury managed the 24 deflections, 12 intercepts and four rebounds as she helped steady the ship and lead the nation to a Bronze Medal. Though ultimately having her hands full when taking on Fowler in the semi-final, Nelson is a different type of player. Jury is no stranger to success at both domestic and international levels, having won an ANZ Premiership title just this year with Central Pulse, which pre-dated her Bronze Medal in Birmingham.
KEY TO WINNING THE HEAD-TO-HEAD
Jury is a four-quarter defender who can cause all sorts of headaches for opposition shooters, and Nelson will find the going tough. What Jury does so well is being able to read the play and get into good positions, with great athleticism and quick feet that allows the Silver Ferns defender to continually get to the right spots. For her to get on top of Nelson, she will need to do that consistently, and be aware that if the Sunshine Girls can get frequent delivery into her opponent, it will be high balls near the post.
Standing only a few centimetres shorter than Nelson, Jury can disrupt Nelson’s flow and try and make the Jamaican captain question her own positioning. However the way Nelson can get on top is to ensure she is able to plant the feet early and use those extra centimetres to best advantage. In the past, her hands have not always been the most consistent, however she improved that aspect of her game significantly this season. For Nelson, consistency and foot placement is key, though ultimately her midcourters need to get on top of a vastly more experienced Silver Ferns outfit.
It is a huge task for Nelson, and more daunting than just beating Jury individually. The Silver Ferns depth in the defensive stocks means the likes of Sulu Fitzpatrick or Phoenix Karaka could roll into the position if Nelson does get on top, or Dame Noeline Taurua could even give youngster Elle Temu a crack. Jamaica will have bigger issues in other parts of the court given the relative experience difference between the sides. Either way expect the Jamaican goal shooter to want to impress Connie Francis and lead by example.