Category: Malawi

Uganda stun South Africa to secure fifth spot while Malawi finish seventh

Uganda stun South Africa to secure fifth spot while Malawi finish seventh

An inspired Ugandan side stunned hosts South Africa, beating them by two goals to secure fifth spot at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town on Sunday. In the playoff for seventh place it was Malawi who got the better of Tonga.

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 06: Uganda celebrate winning during the Netball World Cup 2023, 5th/6th place match between South Africa and Uganda at Cape Town International Convention Centre, Court 1 on August 06, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

SOUTH AFRICA 47 – 49 UGANDA

Hosts South Africa played Uganda in an all-African showdown for fifth place at the Netball World Cup on Sunday. While the Proteas secured a two-goal victory over the She Cranes in their final group game just three days earlier, the rising Ugandans got the better of them in the same fifth-place playoff almost a year ago to the day at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Coming into the match, Uganda were already guaranteed their highest ever finish at a Netball World Cup – their previous best being seventh place in 2019 – and they took another massive step up in 2023, dethroning the South Africans as the top side in Africa to secure fifth spot with a 49-47 victory on Sunday.

The Ugandans came out showing their intent, turning over the first centre pass and racing to a four-goal lead before the South Africans could register on the scoreboard. Multiple unforced errors from the jittery Proteas saw them losing unnecessary possession and they spent much of the first period playing catchup. By the first break, the hosts had managed to close that gap to just one goal.

South African coach Norma Plummer switched Bongi Msomi to wing attack and the taller Izette Griesel to centre at the start of the second quarter as the South Africans slowly started swinging the momentum in their favour. But while the defenders earned plenty of turnovers – Jeanté Strydom particularly impressive in stealing two centre passes – the Proteas’ attack struggled to convert those into goals. Uganda continued to throw everything at the home side, with goal attack Shadiah Nassanga eventually receiving a warning for repeated obstruction just before haltftime, which the teams reached all tied up at 23-23.

The She Cranes came out looking the hungrier of the two sides in the third quarter which proved to be the decisive one. They took their time in their own attack, with Mary Cholhok and Irene Eyaru doing the business in the circle, and made the Proteas work hard for their goals.

The Ugandan defence did an excellent job of putting pressure on the usually reliable Nichole Taljaard, the star of South Africa’s draw with New Zealand earlier in the week. The goal attack was not at her best, throwing away plenty of ball and was pressured into taking fewer shots than normal.

Uganda headed into the final break with their noses in front but the Proteas managed to level matters at 40-40. The home team couldn’t push on from there, however. Yet another unforced error from the South Africans allowed Uganda to edge ahead and this time they didn’t look back, surging five goals in front at one stage. The She Cranes still held a two-goal lead heading into the final two minutes, and they slowed things right down, looking to hold on to possession to wind down the clock, and so securing a memorable 49-47 victory.

A thrilled Ugandan coach Fred Mugerwa said afterwards: “The match went the way we wanted it to go. When we went into that match my last words to the players were that we shouldn’t make the mistakes we made in the first match we played against South Africa because we gave them a lot of respect and because of that they went ahead by many goals.

“When we tried to catch up those goals, which we did, by the fourth quarter we were very tired and could not go beyond. So this time I told them we should start on a very high note and that’s where we should end and today, the game would not be over until it was over with the final whistle. Indeed this is exactly what they did and we eventually won so I’m very pleased with my girls that they listened to the instructions.”

She Cranes captain Irene Eyaru added: “On behalf of the team I’m so, so proud because we have been looking for a way of beating South Africa right from the word go. We wanted to show the whole world that Uganda is the best team in Africa… we decided to play our hearts out on court and if it means to die on court, we would die.”

South African coach Norma Plummer said afterwards: “Congratulations to Uganda. They kept possession of the ball, unfortunately, we wasted too many balls and you can’t afford to lose those sorts of balls. The game is possession and that’s where you win it. They took it to us, and they deserve the win in the end.” 

Captain Bongi Msomi added: “We obviously wanted to win, it was very important to try and give it our best shot and maintain our ranking. Like Norma said, we just gave away too many balls. Kudos to them, they played really well today. Disappointed obviously, I still need to go back and try and feel this, at this point, I don’t even know what to feel.” 

 Vice-captain Karla Pretorius said: “Just very disappointed with our result but it comes back to ourselves, we didn’t play the way were supposed to. They just put us under a lot of pressure and against a team like this, you don’t win a lot of balls and you need to capitalise on it, and we did not do that today. So it’s really disappointing, we really wanted that win.” 

SCORES

Q1: 11-12

Q2: 23-23 (12-11)

Q3: 37-39 (14-16)

Q4: 47-49 (10-10)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Mary Cholhok (Uganda)

 

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - AUGUST 05: Wales celebrate winning the Netball World Cup 2023, 9th/10th place match between Scotland and Wales at Cape Town International Convention Centre, Court 1 on August 05, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

MALAWI 64 – 54 TONGA

Following their 56-51 win on Thursday, the Malawi team triumphed again against Tonga on Sunday to finish seventh at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.  

Tonga managed to establish a three-goal lead midway through the first 15 minutes by creating open spaces to move the ball into their goal circle. Defenders, Kelea Iongi and Lose Fainga’anuku, made things challenging for the Malawi shooters. 

Malawi launched a strong counterattack, with Joyce Mvula and Mwai Kumwenda making sure of their attempts at goal. The Queens caught up and even took a two-goal lead, leading 17-16 by the end of the first quarter. 

Tonga made changes to their starting lineup in the second quarter, introducing Salote Taufa at centre and veteran former Australian Diamond Mo’onia Gerrard at goal defence. Malawi increased their pace and Mvula’s movement out of the circle to collect passes led to more possession for Malawi. This allowed them to build a comfortable five-goal lead within eight minutes. 

Malawi’s first substitution occurred just before halftime, with Jane Dambo replacing Grace Mwafulirwa on wing defence. This intensified pressure on Tonga’s attack, and Malawi led 33-29 at halftime. 

The battle between centres Takondwa Lwazi and Hulita Veve continued in the third quarter. Both had been standout players for their teams throughout the tournament, excelling in both attack and defence. 

Tonga improved their structured play and defence in the third quarter, closing the gap to just one goal after seven minutes. They outscored Malawi 15-12 in the quarter, keeping their hopes of victory alive. 

Malawi’s line-up remained unchanged going into the fourth quarter, as the coaching staff stuck with what was working well. In the final seven minutes, Malawi secured more ball possession for their shooting circle and pulled ahead. With two minutes remaining, their lead stretched to 10 goals, which they maintained to the final whistle, so securing seventh spot in the tournament. 

Malawi captain Jane Chimaliro said her side were satisfied with the victory. 

“We are feeling good, we are happy that we’ve finished seventh. We failed to get position five so we are not happy about that. The competition was very tough from day one and we tried our best. I thank the girls that they managed to control the last quarter… The fans in the stands were there for us.” 

Tongan goal defence Mo’onia Gerrard remained proud of her team’s performance at what is only their second Netball World Cup and said: “It was tough but I think we put it on ourselves to be honest.

“This is our first campaign but we’ve had a taste of it during the championships, so I guess it’s character-building. I guess the girls now know they can’t just rely on their natural talent but they’ve got to put in extras at home to get to this point.

“But considering where we came from – like absolutely nowhere – it was an absolute dream of mine for Tonga to even get to a championship, to a World Cup. It’s just a great feeling and a great start for what our little nation can do.” 

SCORES: 

Q1: 17-16 

Q2: 33-29 (16-13) 

Q3: 45-44 (12-15) 

Q4: 64-54 (19-10)   

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Mwai Kumwenda (Malawi) 

South Africa and Uganda set up all-African battle for fifth place at the Netball World Cup

Friday, 4 August 2023: Uganda beat Malawi and South Africa got the better of Tonga in their Netball World Cup 2023 playoff matches at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday. That means the She Cranes and Proteas will play off for fifth place on Sunday, while Malawi will take on Tonga to decide seventh and eighth.

UGANDA 57-46 MALAWI 

Uganda recorded their first victory ever over Malawi at a Netball World Cup when they defeated their opponents 57-46 at the tournament in Cape Town on Friday.

With the win, the She Cranes advanced to Sunday’s fifth-place playoff which means, regardless of the result, they will achieve their highest placing at a World Cup. Their previous highest placing in their three other tournament appearances was seventh place in 2019 in Liverpool.  

Despite an initial four-goal lead by Uganda and pressure from the She Cranes, the Malawi Queens started playing with more confidence with some well-executed moves and drives down court. Goal attack Mwai Kumwenda commanded the circle, keeping her space well to take her team to within one goal. Goal shooter Joyce Mvula scored the equalising goal in the last minute of the first quarter and landed another one soon after to put Malawi one up. Uganda got one back, and the score reached 14-all.  

At the start of the second quarter, Mvula landed two goals in quick succession to hand Malawi the lead again. It wasn’t to last though as the She Cranes overtook them once again.  

It was a very physical encounter with the style of play typical of African netball and with players running hard at the ball. Uganda coach Fred Mugerwa was up and out of his seat at the side of the court throughout the match, shouting instructions and pointing to where he wanted his players to move.  

After initially struggling to keep away from Malawi goalkeeper Loreen Ngwira, Uganda goal shooter Mary Cholhok sank four goals on the trot to give her team a 28-23 lead at halftime.  

Uganda had the lion’s share of possession in the second quarter with 64 per cent and continued on the same trajectory in the third quarter, continuing to dominate Malawi in the third. This despite the efforts from the Malawi mid-court, led by centre Takondwa Lwazi, to feed the ball through to their goal circle.  

In the latter stages of the penultimate quarter, Malawi goal defence Towera Vinkhumbo received a warning from the umpire. The next misstep from her would have meant expulsion from the game for two minutes.  

Uganda enjoyed a healthy 43-35 lead heading into the final 15 minutes. The She Cranes kept the distance between themselves and the Queens, not allowing their opponents to get any grip on the match. 

With five minutes remaining, Uganda were 10 points clear and made certain of advancing to play for the fifth/sixth position on Sunday.  

Uganda coach Fred Mugerwa said the players panicked a bit in the first quarter and realised what was at stake.  

“The game was a bit tough and I told the girls to go out and fight. We wanted to win and that’s exactly what we did.” 

Malawi coach Sam Kanyenda reckoned: “We need to go back to the drawing board and from the result here see how best we can go forward. We believe we’ve got enough talent that can take us there and we’ve got to see how best we can adapt our strategy to take us where we want to be.” 

SCORES: 

Q1:14-14 

Q2: 28-23 (14-9) 

Q3: 43-35 (15-12) 

Q4: 57-46 (14-11) 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Shadiah Nassanga (Uganda)  

SOUTH AFRICA 72 – 46 TONGA

Hosts South Africa took on Tonga on Friday in the battle to determine who will meet Uganda in the playoff for fifth place at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.

South Africa’s Rugby World Cup-winning captain, Siya Kolisi, was among the vocal home crowd cheering for their side and willing them to a 72-46 victory.

The opening quarter was a tight one, with the teams remaining neck and neck throughout. The Proteas were turning plenty of ball, but their shooters were struggling to settle in the circle. Ine-Mari Venter converted only five of her nine shots before being replaced by Elmeré van der Berg towards the end of the period. Even the usually reliable Nichole Taljaard finished the first quarter with a 67 per cent shooting average at goal attack, although she improved that considerably in the rest of the match.

At the other end, former Silver Ferns star Cat Tuivaiti was shooting at 100 per cent at goal shooter, as was her goal attack Marie Hansen, meaning the Tongan Tala kept up with the Proteas to reach the first quarter break level on 12-12.

It was a different story in the second quarter, however, as Van der Berg made sure the South Africans’ efforts on defence were rewarded. The young goal shooter fired in 14 of her 14 attempts while Taljaard also settled to slot in all of her efforts. Tonga brought on veteran former Australian Diamond Mo’onia Gerrard at goalkeeper 12 minutes into the second quarter to try and stem the flow, but she couldn’t prevent the South Africans from taking a seven-goal lead into halftime.

The South Africans continued to build on that momentum in the third quarter, moving the ball down the court with ease and easily finding Van der Berg in the circle. That saw them extending their lead to 11 goals by the final break.

Having had a significant lead against Uganda whittled down in the final period a day earlier, the Proteas would have been determined not to allow a repeat scenario against Tonga. They did that in some style. Even with South African coach Norma Plummer bringing on Khanyisa Chawane, Owethu Ngubane, Shadine van der Merwe and Nicola Smith as late replacements, the Proteas continued to storm ahead, winning the quarter by 25 goals to 10 and securing their place in Sunday’s fifth-place playoff with a 72-46 victory.

Speaking after the match, Proteas captain Bongi Msomi said” “Firstly I want to say I’m really proud of the team. Coming here we only had one loss to Jamaica… we drew against New Zealand and we actually just can’t have a semifinal based on goal difference and I think that, we can be proud of.

“We had a chat yesterday and I’m quite pleased to see that the girls could bounce back from that disappointment, because it was quite disappointing, and come here today and really just want to play what we called our semifinal. We have a ‘final’ against Uganda on Sunday.

“They’re a really good side and they actually gave it to us when we played yesterday so we’re looking forward to another battle. You can’t really shy away from the fact that we’re ranked fifth. We want to finish at least fifth at this stage… I’m really still proud of the girls. I thought there was some great netball being played by the Spar Proteas and to see that the youngsters are coming through, really playing good netball. That is something we can take forward and be proud of what is happening in netball in South Africa.”

Tonga wing attack Salote Taufa said it is a dream come true to play out for seventh spot in Tonga’s second appearance at a Netball World Cup.

“We are all just taking it in as it comes. We are a little nation trying to put our country on the map and shake things up a bit. And I think we definitely did that. We look beyond it being a game of netball, we are a family and we bring that into our game.”

SCORES

Q1:12-12

Q2: 30-23 (18-11)

Q3: 47-36 (17-13)

Q4: 72-46 (25-10)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Elmeré van der Berg (South Africa)

South Africa eke out victory over Uganda as Malawi hold on against Tonga

South Africa eke out victory over Uganda as Malawi hold on against Tonga

Thursday, 3 August 2023: Hosts South Africa had the vocal home crowd on the edge of their seats as they just managed to pip Uganda by two goals to secure third spot in Group G. In the other match of the evening, fellow Africans Malawi held on for victory against Tonga to make sure of third place in Group F.

 

SOUTH AFRICA 52 – 50 UGANDA  

South Africa avenged their 2022 Commonwealth Games loss to Uganda by beating the She Cranes 52-50 in a Pool G match at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.  

 

The result ended the Proteas’ hopes of progressing to the semifinals as they needed to secure an unlikely victory margin of more than 64 goals and keep their opponents from scoring more than 20 to make that happen.

 

Goal attack Ine-Mari Venter had a better start compared to Wednesday’s match against New Zealand, being successful with all her attempts. Uganda however struggled with short passes around their own goal circle.  

 

Uganda’s star shooter, Mary Cholhok, found it challenging against South Africa’s Phumza Maweni. The Protea defender had Cholhok properly boxed in with little room to stamp her authority.  

 

South Africa’s swift ball movement across the court troubled Uganda, preventing them from executing their attacking style effectively. During the second quarter, South Africa extended their lead to 10 goals, with Maweni continuing to disrupt Cholhok. 

 

Uganda made their first substitutions 10 minutes before halftime, but that didn’t have any effect as the South Africans went into the break 33-19 in front.

 

The third quarter was entirely dominated by Uganda, as they outscored South Africa by nine goals (17-8), finding their rhythm and quickly narrowing the gap. 

 

In the final quarter, Uganda came out onto the court clearly intent on snatching the victory away from the hosts. And they almost did. Having been 12 goals down at one point, they managed to equalise the score at 42-all within four minutes. 

 

The match became physical at times, something Uganda coach Fred Mugerwa commented on afterwards.  

 

A crucial intercept under the Uganda goal post by goal defence Nicola Smith turned the ball back to the South African goal circle and the Proteas managed to secure a 52-50 win.   

 

Proteas captain Bongi Msomi said her side went into the game against Uganda to give it their all in an attempt to reach the semifinals.

 

“At halftime it felt like we still had a chance. You always have a chance until you don’t have. At this stage it’s disappointing, We have to focus on keeping our ranking because Uganda is really good. If we are going to come up against them again, they are going to come hard.” 

 

Mugerwa said they underestimated the way the match would play out. 

 

“It was a bit physical and that’s why we were trailing by 14 goals at halftime. When we went to the dressing room I told the girls to be a bit harder and not lose hope, we have to fight for the country. And we recovered, it is unfortunate that we couldn’t take it.” 

 

SCORES

Q1: 16-11  

Q2: 33-19 (17-8) 

Q3; 41-36 (8-17) 

Q4: 52-50 (11-14)  

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Shadiah Nassanga (Uganda)  

 

TONGA 51 – 56 MALAWI

Tonga took on Malawi for the first time at a Netball World Cup in the match to determine third and fourth place in Group F.  It was the Malawi Queens who emerged victorious, claiming the 56-51 win.

Having secured the win, Malawi will now play fourth place in Group G, Uganda, while Tonga go on to play the third-placed team in the same group, South Africa. The winners of these matches will play off for fifth and sixth place.

Tonga got away to a fast start, leading by three goals at one point, but the Malawi Queens came back at them in what was, as predicted, a physical encounter. The scores were level on 13-13 at the first break.

It was a completely different story at the start of the second quarter, however, with Tonga taking over five minutes to score their first goal, while Malawi suddenly upped the energy and speed to race into a significant lead.

Tonga brought on former Silver Ferns star Cat Tuivaiti at goal shooter and Salote Taufa at wing attack to try and steady the ship but the damage had been done at the start of the quarter. Tonga did, however, manage to reduce the deficit, heading into halftime just five goals down.

Former Australian Diamonds player Mo’onia Gerrard was also brought on for Tonga at the start of the third quarter while Malawi lost stalwart Mwai Kumwenda to an apparent injury midway through the period. There was just one goal difference in the quarter score (15-14) but Malawi still enjoyed a six-goal lead at the final break.

Kumwenda was back in action at the start of the final quarter but the Malawians looked to be tiring somewhat, making for an exciting period of play in which the Tongans looked to take advantage. With both sets of singing fans in full voice on opposite sides of the court, it was the Malawians who were left celebrating the loudest as their team wrapped up a 56-51 win – all the damage having been done at the start of that second quarter.

Speaking after the match, Malawi coach Sam Kanyenda said: “Fortunately we’ve played Tonga before. We played them this year when we went for the [PacificAus] series in Australia so we had a view of how they play.

“That time around we only used locally based players so they beat us and we knew if we went soft on them, then the game was going to be tough on us. So we had a gameplan whereby we said we go tough on them… I’m very happy for today’s win.”

As for Friday’s showdown with Uganda, Kanyenda added: “Our game is not like that played of other countries but tomorrow’s match will be a very tough match because we’re almost playing a similar pattern of play.”

Giving her thought on where Malawi got the edge over her side, Tonga coach Pori-Makea-Simpson said: “They get this beautiful fluency in their attack end. They’re very, very patient with the ball and they play a short game which can be difficult defensively and for us we like an offline game. We had to change that up and we did struggle to actually slow down their short game but I’m so proud of the effort our girls put out there. It’s quite remarkable given their inexperience.”

 

SCORES

Q1: 13-13

Q2: 26-31 (13-18)

Q3: 40-46 (14-15)

Q4: 51-56 (11-10)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Towera Vinkhumbo (Malawi)

Match reports Day 4: Wins for New Zealand, Australia, Barbados and Malawi

New Zealand stand strong after Nweke ruled out while Australia and Malawi earn second stage wins.

Monday, 31 July 2023: Rocked by the injury-enforced withdrawal of young goal shooter Grace Nweke, New Zealand rallied to put in an impressive performance against Wales on the first day of second-stage matches at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town. Australia easily overcame Scotland and Malawi beat Fiji while in the battle for the minor places, it was Barbados that got the better of Zimbabwe.

AUSTRALIA 76 – 37 SCOTLAND

Australia came up against Scotland for the 10th time at a Netball World Cup when the second stage of the preliminaries got under way at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Monday morning.

It was always going to be a tough prospect for the Scots, taking on the 11-time world champions, who had scored 20 or more goals in all but one of their quarters at this tournament so far. It was nevertheless a promising start for the Thistles, bringing some good intensity at the start of the game. But the world’s 10th-ranked side struggled with consistency and soon fell behind, the Aussies racing away to a 21-9 lead by the first break.

Australian captain Liz Watson came on for Jamie-Lee Price in the second quarter after the centre was cautioned at the end of the first, and Sunday Aryang replaced Jo Weston at goal defence, while Scotland coach Tamsin Greenway made multiple changes to her side – giving as many players as possible the chance to test themselves against the world No. 1 team.

Goal attack Sophie Garbin kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Diamonds, scoring 38 out of Australia’s 43 goals by halftime, at an average of 95 per cent.

Like in their match against England on Sunday, Scotland enjoyed an impressive third quarter, some excellent defence restricting Australia to just 15 goals while scoring 11 of their own.

The Thistles continued that momentum at the start of the fourth period, upping their intensity once again while some sloppy play started creeping in for the Diamonds, who appeared to have taken their foot off the pedal somewhat. But the Diamonds soon got themselves back on track to win the final quarter by nine goals, so wrapping up the 76-37 win.

The Scots could be proud of their performance – becoming the first team at the tournament to restrict the Australians to less than 80 goals in total.

Speaking afterwards, Australian coach Stacey Marinkovich said: “It was one where I thought we started really well. I think our centre pass was going quite smoothly. I think we didn’t necessarily reward the gains we got defensively but it’s getting to that point where you’re continually looking for growth and execution but you’ve also got to celebrate the wins. We’ve gone four from four and we’ve had some big scoring margins, we’ve rotated and used the variety and depth that we’ve got and people are getting out there and performing.

Adding her thoughts on Scotland’s performance, particularly in the third quarter, Marinkovich said: “I think the last 10 minutes of that quarter we were equal scoring and that’s what you’ve got to respect. I think Scotland stepped up their presence in defence and certainly made us work a lot harder… I guess that’s what World Cups are about – it’s about being able to do things over 60 minutes and it’s great to see that every country is having moments where they’re showing what they’re capable of and they’ll continue to evolve and grow as we’re trying to.”

Scotland captain Claire Maxwell was thrilled with her team’s performance, saying: “We really, really enjoyed that game. It’s always a great pleasure playing against the world No. 1 and just being able to see where we’re at against them.

“I think we had passages of absolutely excellent play but there were also times when we could have made better decisions on the court, but overall I’m really pleased.”

SCORES

Q1: 21-9

Q2: 43-17 (22-8)

Q3: 58-28 (15-11)

Q4: 76-37 (18-9)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jamie-Lee Price (Australia)

BARBADOS 62 – 45 ZIMBABWE  

In their second meeting at a World Cup, Barbados beat Zimbabwe 62-45 In a Group E match at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town. The roles have been reversed as at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool, Zimbabwe walked away with bragging rights following a 66-41 victory.  

While all the Zimbabwe players have been given court time, Carla Boyce is the only Bajan who hasn’t played in Cape Town. She is also yet to make her international debut. 

Initially it seemed Zimbabwe would be able to keep up with their opponents with the scoreline still within reach. There was a handful of much-needed interceptions and deflections that frustrated Barbados.  

As the first 15 minutes wound down, the Bajan Gems however settled into things with a run of successive goals by shooter Kadeen Corbin. Barbados also started starving Zimbabwe of crucial possession and this continued in the second quarter. The teams went into the halftime break with Barbados comfortably leading 35-16. 

The difference in reaction of the two benches was a clear reflection of how the game was progressing. Whereas the Barbados players were enthusiastically cheering, the Zimbabwean coaching staff were shouting instructions up and down the court in frustration. It was also evident in the changes in the team setup with Zimbabwe switching and moving players around constantly. The first substitution for Barbados was only made in the last quarter when Teresa Howell moved to the bench and Tonisha Rock-Yaw came in at centre.  

Zimbabwe had a much better second half as they outscored the Bajan Gems by two goals (29-27). The Gems’ disappointing run of performances ultimately continued in Cape Town, however, considering they finished in eighth place four years ago.   

SCORES 

Q1: 15-9 

Q2: 35-16 (20-7) 

Q3: 50-31 (15-15) 

Q4: 62-45 (12-14) 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Kadeen Corbin (Barbados)

WALES 34 – 83 NEW ZEALAND

The news overshadowing the Silver Ferns team as they took to the court for their Netball World Cup match against Wales on Monday was that goal shooter Grace Nweke will take no further part in the tournament in Cape Town.

Nweke limped off the court with a knee injury in New Zealand’s match against Singapore on Sunday and while early reports suggested the problem was not a serious one, just a day later the official statement came that Nweke had suffered a partial tear in her patella tendon and has been replaced in the squad by travelling reserve Tiana Metuarau.

Maia Wilson started the Wales game as goal shooter and duly delivered, notching up a 100 per cent average with 29 from 29 in the first half as the Silver Ferns powered into a 40-16 lead by halftime.

She extended that flawless record into the third quarter, adding 20 more goals to the rising New Zealand total, deservedly earning her the Most Valuable Player accolade.

Metuarau was given her first taste of World Cup action when she replaced Ameliaranne Ekenasio with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter and looked at home immediately as the Ferns continued to dominate.

While the fourth quarter was a better one for Wales, with only six goals separating the sides, the defending champions had no trouble in wrapping up the 83-34 win.

Speaking about Nweke’s injury after the match, New Zealand captain Ekenasio said: “We were really devastated when we found out about Grace, lots of emotions and lots of tears but we’ve always been really big on it being the full 15 of us s it’s been really important that everybody feels that they’ve got a place and they know their role as well and they can own it.

“So, for us it’s about supporting [Grace], being around her and being there for her and also supporting Tiana as well. Also we don’t have time, we have to move so that’s really big for us and we’ve got to do it together – that’s the only way we’re going to be able to do it.”

New Zealand coach Noeline Tuarua added: “I don’t believe it is a big blow. If anything it’s probably forced the issue to consolidate faster… what we’ve always known in the team is that we can’t always rely on one person. We have to make sure we have players who can play in multiple positions but also players that can do their own job… sometimes things like this galvanise teams so we’re just putting our heads down and seeing what happens the next day.”

Wales captain Nia Jones said: When we were drawn in this pool, we knew we would possibly face the Ferns and I think where they are and their level of experience, they’re always going o be targeting a podium finish and it’s slightly out of our reach at the minute.

“But we really had to break it down and see whether we could get under their skin really early, or force them into some errors, maybe cause a little frustration. At times we really did that. I think we were patient with the ball and took on their zone and were actually able to break through it and then other times I think we fell into their trap a little bit… so, a little bit of naivety there but we’ve got some inexperience in this group and next time round we’ll be better prepped for it.

SCORES

Q1: 8-19

Q2: 16-40 (8-21)

Q3: 22-65 (6-25)

Q4: 83-34 (12-18)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Maia Wilson (New Zealand)

MALAWI 62 – 48 FIJI 

Fuelled by a vocal crowd, Malawi overcame a blistering start by Fiji in their Group F match on Monday to record a 62-48 win at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.  

In their only previous meeting at a World Cup, Malawi also got the better of the Fijians, beating them 68-45 in Christchurch in 1999. More recently (April 2023) the Queens defeated the Pearls 54-47 at the Pacific-Aus Series on the Australian Gold Coast.  

A streak of nine unanswered goals midway through the first quarter saw Malawi edge ahead of Fiji with Joyce Mvula shooting with deadly accuracy. At the other end of the court defenders Jane Dambo and Towera Vinkhumbo were solid, denying the Fijian shooters any breathing space. The Queens went into the halftime break with a comfortable 36-23 cushion.  

In an attempt to counter the Malawian playmaking and pump some added energy into her squad, Fiji coach Unaisi Rakoura made a handful of changes before the halftime break. Most were in the mid-court where the Pearls had been struggling. Malawi on the other hand only saw changes in the third quarter with Mwai Kumwenda replacing Jane Chimaliro on goal attack. She went on to win the award as Most Valuable Player. 

Fiji came out all guns blazing in the penultimate quarter intent on not simply handing Malawi an easy victory. They shared the spoils with the Queens in the third quarter (11-11). 

In the final 15 minutes, the Malawian mid-court players demonstrated great ball control and created even more scoring opportunities while at the same time limiting Fiji’s chances to counterattack. Centre Takondwa Lwazi, who was on court for all four quarters despite playing with a heavily strapped right knee, was instrumental in linking Malawi’s attacking and defensive combinations.  

While Fiji had more than 50 per cent of the ball in the last quarter, it was Malawi who had the better of possession throughout the match, giving their shooters enough chances to keep the scoreboard ticking over.  

Malawi’s Lwazi, who only left the court in the final seven minutes of the match, said her side had started well in the first two quarters but then let themselves down. 

“We didn’t do well in the third and fourth quarters, we missed some important passes. For tomorrow’s match [against Australia] we’ll work on the mistakes we made today and we have to keep our focus throughout. We are going to try our best.” 

Fiji captain Maria Lutua-Rusivakula lamented her team’s missed opportunities. 

“The Malawi Queens came out strong and we knew it was going to be a physical game. We tried to keep the focus and the momentum going. For us it’s always a case of keeping moving and keeping possession of the ball and then bringing it safely to our shooters.” 

SCORES 

Q1: 20-10 

Q2: 36-23 (16-13) 

Q3: 47-34 (11-11) 

Q4:62-48 (15-14) 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Mwai Kumwenda (Malawi) 

Match reports, day 3: Wins for Wales, Malawi, NZ, Australia

Wales claimed their first victory of the Netball World Cup 2023 to safely negotiate their way through to the second stage of the preliminaries while there were comfortable wins for Malawi, defending champions New Zealand, and Australia on the third day of matches at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

WALES 68-56 SRI LANKA
With both Wales and Sri Lanka chasing a first victory of the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town, there was plenty to play for when the two sides went head-to-head in their final Group C clash on Sunday.

On the line was a place in the second stage of the preliminaries with only the top three teams in each pool progressing. And it was the Welsh Feathers who got the job done with a 68-56 victory.

While the Sri Lankans stayed within striking distance for much of the opening quarter, some great intercepts from the Welsh ensured they edged ahead, taking a six-goal advantage into the first break.

Midway through the second quarter, the match was halted for close to eight minutes after Sri Lankan wing attack Dulangi Wannithilake received a blow to the stomach from a Welsh player’s knee and became physically ill on the side of the court.

When play resumed, Wales managed to pick up where they left off, Ella Powell-Davies and Christina Shaw doing exceptionally well on defence for their side to open the gap to head into halftime 30-22 up.

The tallest player in the tournament 2.06m Tharjini Sivalingam came on at goal shooter after the break and made all the difference, with the Sri Lankans producing their highest-scoring quarter. Incredibly Wannithilake also returned to action at wing attack.

But a 10-goal gap by the end of the period proved too much to close and with goal shooter Georgia Rowe completing a near-flawless performance in the Wales circle with 49 goals from 50 attempts, the Feathers wrapped up the crucial 68-56 victory.

Powell-Davies was named Most Valuable Player and said: “It’s so, so good – a massive boost of confidence for this squad. We’ve had a tough couple of games and Sri Lanka really brought it to us today. It was super tough out there, but to get the win it’s a massive boost and we’re looking forward to going through to the next group.

Sri Lanka coach Thilaka Jinadasa said: “The girls did well today overcoming these big losses in our last two matches.”

Speaking about Wannithilake’s injury, Jinadasa added: “She will hopefully be OK. She’ll be taken to the doctor to be checked. She’s a very strong character so I’m sure she will be OK.

“She is a very fast wing attack for us in our starting seven so I have more confidence with her and I knew she was a strong character and could come back and she proved it again today.”

SCORES:
Q1: 17-11
Q2: 30-22 (13-11)
Q3: 50-40 (20-18)
Q4: 68-56 (18-16)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Ella Powell-Davies (Wales)

AUSTRALIA 101-32 FIJI 

With 18 places separating them in the latest world rankings, a comprehensive victory for Australia (1) over Fiji (19) was all but guaranteed. The world’s top-ranked team is yet to lose a quarter at the Netball World Cup 2023. This was the second 100-goal score of the World Cup, Australia’s third in all World Cups and the 15 th overall.  

It was the Diamonds’ fifth World Cup victory over the Pearls. Outside of the tournament, they also have had the better of their opponents in three other international matches.

Fiji got proceedings underway with Maliana Rusivakula landing the first shot. It didn’t take long for Cara Koenen to return the favour at the other of the court for Australia.  

Fiji, fresh off their upset win over Zimbabwe on Saturday, managed to hang on for the first five minutes of the game. Australia however found their rhythm and started building up a healthy lead. The ease with which they were moving led to attractive attacking play for which their opponents had no answer.  

Fiji head coach Unaisi Rokoura, who played in the 1999 and 2003 World Cups, brought on Lydia Panapasa as goal shooter with Rusivakula moving to goal attack for the second quarter. Josephine Nailumu (goal defence) and Ana Moi (wing defence) also took to court in an effort to stem the relentless Aussie attack. The Australian team remained unchanged.  

Even though the possession was evenly distributed in the first half, with a superior goal shooting percentage, Australia had a firm grip on the game. They went into the break 46-18 in the lead. 

When the third quarter started, it was a new-look Australian team who assumed position with Ash Brazill the only player yet to make an appearance in the game. Goal shooter Sophie Garbin fired off three shots in quick succession, and another five soon after, to take the wind out of Fiji’s sails.  

Australia racked up 26 points in the third quarter and followed it up with 29 in the final 15 minutes of the match, their highest over three days of play.  

Goalkeeper Courtney Bruce earned her second award as Most Valuable Player for another stellar performance on defence. She got eight intercepts and caused several deflections to turn the ball back toward her team’s goal circle.  

Commenting on the rest of the tournament and how they want to progress, Australian coach Stacey Marinkovich said her team have their eyes set on the other teams. 

“As we’ve gone on along the journey, the focus has been on how we get our game going in terms of performance and style, compared to the other teams,” she said.

“So certainly we’ll talk about what we see and what they bring to the table. The draw is what it is. That is one of the challenges of a world cup, you’ve got to bring your game on the day and learn in the moment and adapt.” 

Despite the heavy loss, Fiji captain Maria Lutua-Rusivakula said their main goal was to give all the players some time on court. 

“In that aspect we did what we wanted to do, even though the result doesn’t really show it. We are progressing all the time and we want to go forward by making the little things count. For now, we are taking it one day at a time,” she said.

SCORES 
Q1: 23-9 
Q2: 48-18 (23-9) 
Q3: 72-27 (26-9) 
Q4: 101-32 (29-5) 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Courtney Bruce (Australia) 

 NEW ZEALAND 80-19 SINGAPORE

Defending champions New Zealand closed out their Group D matches with a comprehensive 80-19 victory over the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, Singapore.

Having beaten the same opposition by 68 goals at the last World Cup in Liverpool four years ago, few would have expected anything other than another win for the Silver Ferns when the two sides faced off again on Sunday.

While the Singapore side are speedy and produced a promising start, they were outgunned in all departments, scoring seven goals in the first quarter and just two in the second as New Zealand took firm control.

The Silver Ferns shooters had no mercy on Singapore goal keeper Jamie Lim on her 23rd birthday, racing to a 32-goal lead by halftime.

Once again the Singaporeans’ inaccurate goal shooting cost them with neither shooter averaging over the 55 per cent mark.

While New Zealand had little trouble in sailing to the 80-19 victory, of some concern will be the condition of goal shooter Grace Nweke who appeared to limp off the court in the third quarter and was seen icing her knee on the sidelines.

Despite the comfortable victory, New Zealand coach Noeline Taurua felt there was plenty of room for improvement.

“I’m not actually entirely happy, I thought we were able to get a lot of ball and I think our attention to detail in some respects wasn’t on point,” she said afterwards.

“I feel today we went a bit backwards, especially when we had ball in hand. The quality wasn’t as good as expected.”

Asked about Nweke’s knee, Taurua added: “At the moment the call from the physio is that it’s not too bad but just precaution so I’m happy that we took her off so we can ascertain clearly why there’s the issue, but it’s OK.”

Singapore captain Kai Wei Toh said: “It was really an honour to play against them and I think it was a great experience. We don’t always have the chance to play them so the team enjoyed it.

“I’m very proud of my girls. They put up a strong fight and a strong start, but we should keep it consistent through the four quarters. I think we tried to play a short game, which we did. There were a few successful passes down the court also and I think our defenders did really well. They went for all the balls and really tried very hard.” 

SCORES
Q1: 17-7
Q2: 41-9 (24-2)
Q3: 61-14 (20-5)
Q4: 80-19 (19-5)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Jane Watson (New Zealand)

MALAWI 84-48 BARBADOS   

With singing and dancing Malawi fans in the stands, the Queens scored their second victory of the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town when they beat Barbados 84-48 on Sunday. 

The match marked Malawi’s 50th appearance in the World Cup since their debut in 1995. It has been a challenging tournament for Barbados as they suffered their third consecutive loss.

Right from the opening whistle, Malawi took control of the game, showcasing strategic play that left Barbados struggling to keep up. The Queens' skilful passing and rock-solid defence made it difficult for the Bajan Gems to launch any effective counterattacks. 

At the start of the second quarter, with Thandie Galetta replacing Jane Chimaliro on wing attack, the African team extended their lead even further. The next 15 minutes saw Barbados facing relentless pressure, with Malawi’s defenders making incredible interceptions and thwarting their opponents' progress. By halftime, Malawi held a commanding 43-22 lead. 

The Bajan Gems made a determined effort at the beginning of the second half, with Kadeen Corbin scoring the first goal and expressing their intent to narrow the gap. However, Malaw’s experienced defenders, Towera Vinkhumbo and Jane Dambo, stood firm and they turned Barbados’ possession into scoring opportunities of their own.  

Despite their resilience, Barbados couldn’t break through. In the third quarter, Malawi surged ahead with a dominant centre-court attack that left Barbados searching for answers. As the clock ticked down, Malawi maintained their lead, entering the final stages of the match with an impressive 29-goal advantage. 

In the last 15 minutes, the Queens continued their dominance, controlling the pace and leaving no room for Barbados to stage a comeback. 

Ultimately, Malawi’s tactical gameplay and strategic positioning were the key factors. Their seamless shooting circle rotations ensured a steady stream of scoring opportunities while suffocating defence denied their opponents quality ball possession. 

Beaten by England on day 2, Malawi coach Samuel Kanyenda said his side had sat down with the whole team to properly prepare for Sunday’s encounter. 

“After today’s win there is definitely less stress after the negative feedback from yesterday.

I’m proud of the girls for putting on a good performance and creating this win. Now we are looking forward to the rest of the games.” 

Barbados vice-captain Tonisha Rock-Yaw said it was a tough day at the office. 

“There were some things that were good, but we needed to capitalise and focus a lot more. We needed to try and limit the mistakes and turnovers, there were too many today. For the rest of the tournament, we are taking it day by day and just making sure we stay in it.” 

SCORES: 
Q1: 20-10 
Q2: 43-22 (23-12) 
Q3: 64-35 (21-13) 
Q4: 84-48 (20-13) 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Takondwa Lwazi (Malawi)

Match reports: Wins for SA, Jamaica, England, Malawi

SOUTH AFRICA 61-50 WALES

South Africa cleared the first hurdle in their Netball World Cup 2023 campaign when they beat Wales 61-50 at a packed CTICC in Cape Town.  

The Welsh team didn’t only have to contend with the superiority of the Proteas on the court but also the deafening roar of the home crowd in the stands. There was cheering, dancing and singing throughout the 60-minute encounter that undoubtedly fuelled the home side’s determination to make their country proud.  

Player of the tournament at the 2019 Netball World Cup in Liverpool Karla Pretorius made her 99th appearance for the Proteas and was in great form, putting her impressive defensive abilities on full display. 

In the first two quarters, South Africa showed why they are fifth on the latest world rankings compared to Wales’ ninth position. They had the height advantage over their opponents as well as the speed and agility across court. The Proteas went into the lead 32-24, with Ine-Marie Venter having a stellar performance as goal shooter, finding the net time after time.  

While most of the players settled well into their positions, Elmeré van der Berg seemed to struggle to find her feet. Welsh defenders Ella Powell-Davies and Christina Shaw pounced on Van der Berg’s nervousness, keeping her from making her mark on the big stage. Her shooting average of 50 per cent was clear evidence of that and she moved to the bench for the final two quarters of the match, being replaced by Nichole Taljaard. Coach Norma Plummer also brought on Jeanté Strydom (for Shadine van der Merwe) who made her international debut for South Africa. 

Wales didn’t make any substitutions until the third quarter with Nansi Kuti replacing Georgia Rowe at goal shooter. It was also Kuti’s debut for Wales.  

In the final stretch of the match, South Africa started pulling away. They used their status as one of the most experienced teams at the World Cup in terms of international caps and upped the tempo to completely shut out the Welsh and clinch an important victory on the first day of action.  

Plummer was beaming with pride about Venter’s performance that saw her named the Most Valuable Player. 

“Her growth has been phenomenal. She had outstanding shooting for us,” said Plummer.

“It was a win, not what I necessarily would call a convincing win. I thought our first quarter was sensational but then the Welsh notched it up in the second and third quarters. We started spraying balls and that was disappointing. There’s a lot of information that we now have and that we can use and work on.” 

On Sunday, the Proteas face Jamaica who stacked 105 goals against Sri Lanka. Captain Bongi Msomi said they are not looking that far ahead.  

“We are taking it day by day. Next it’s Sri Lanka. In 2019 we were in the same situation, anything can happen on any day. But first things first, and that’s tomorrow.” 

SCORES: 
Q1: 18-9 
Q2: 32-24 (14-15) 
Q3: 47-37 (15-13) 
Q4: 61-50 (14-13) 

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Ine-Marie Venter (South Africa) 

JAMAICA 105-25 SRI LANKA

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls got their tournament off to a storming start, notching up a formidable 100-point total in their opening Group C match against Sri Lanka.

That was only the second time the Jamaicans have scored 100 goals on the World Cup stage and the 14 th time that the century mark has been surpassed by any team in the tournament’s 60-year history. 

The last time the milestone was achieved was in 2015 when Sri Lanka was also on the receiving end of a 101-18 drubbing at the hands of Malawi.

On Friday, the Jamaicans slotted in 11 goals before the Sri Lankans got themselves on the scoreboard.

Goal shooter Romelda Aiken-George notched up a 100 per cent shooting average in the opening quarter, scoring 19 of her side’s 26 goals. This is the 34-year-old’s fifth Netball World Cup, so equalling the Jamaican record jointly held by her coach, Connie Francis, and Janet Johnson.

Sri Lanka won the Asian qualifying tournament to book their place at the Netball World Cup but found it tough going against the slick Jamaican outfit, reaching halftime facing a 41-goal deficit.

Jhaniele Fowler came on for the first time in the third quarter and notched up a near-perfect 24 out of 25 goals as the Jamaicans continued to dominate. She added 18 more in the fourth quarter to finish with a 97.7 shooting average – both she and Aiken-George (97.1 percent) making the most of their significant height advantage in the circle.

It was Rebekah Robinson who slotted in the Jamaicans’ 100 th goal of the match in the final quarter as they romped to a 105-25 victory.

Speaking after the match, coach Francis said: “I loved the way the girls went out there and put on a fantastic show… I am so proud that they were able to execute well throughout the court.

“It was good to get all the girls out there and you know what I was happy about, was the different types of combinations that we could run and we were able to see that the girls were executing it.”

Commenting on her side surpassing the 100-goal mark, Francis simply added: “The girls set specific targets and to see them attain them was really good.”

Sri Lankan captain Gayanjali Amarawansa admitted afterwards: “For Asians this was a very tough game. This is the first time we have played against Jamaica so we had a good experience. I think we have to experience games like this so it was a good one.

“Toughness and physicality are the good lessons for us so we hope to go ahead with that.”

SCORES:
Q1: 26-5
Q2: 52-11 (26-6)
Q3: 75-18 (23-7)
Q4: 105-25 (30-7)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Latanya Wilson (Jamaica)

ENGLAND 90 – 29 BARBADOS

England also got their bid for a first ever Netball World Cup crown off to a positive start, producing a commanding performance against Barbados in their opening Group B encounter.

The match was unique in that it saw England’s Geva Mentor and Jade Clark as well as Barbados’s Latonia Blackman all stepping out on the Netball World Cup stage for an incredible record-equalling sixth time.

The two sides have met a total of six times in Netball World Cup history, with the island nation never having gotten the better of the Roses.

While the Bajan Gems had a positive start to the match, staying in touch for the first five minutes, seven unanswered goals from England towards the end of the quarter saw them surging further ahead than they already were to reach the first break 20-8 up.

The English didn’t look back from there, dominating on all fronts, winning the next quarter by the same 12-goal margin and continuing that ascendency.

Barbados could manage just four goals in the third period and things didn’t go much better in the fourth, the Roses rolling out comfortable 90-29 winners.

England coach Jess Thirlby was understandably pleased with her team’s performance, in which World Cup debutante Funmi Fadoju was named the Most Valuable Player.

“I’m really pleased. It’s a solid start. I think while we’re not getting carried away with the scoreboard, one of the learnings for us is to make sure we’re more consistent quarter on quarter, irrelevant of changes… and I actually thought quarter on quarter we got stronger, we found more ball through the game which was great, we adjusted.

“It’s a confidence boost but we’re not getting carried away, we have bigger challenges to come in the next couple of days.”

Barbados coach Denise Alleyne said: “I think we had a really good first half, we stuck to the gameplan for the most part. We didn’t convert as many as we would have liked but we were able to move the ball around and we had some good spots. We had a bit of a mental lapse in the third quarter that spilled over to the fourth but for the most part, I saw some good things happening and we have some stuff we can improve upon for our next game.

Speaking about Blackman playing in her sixth Netball World Cup, she added: “It’s just great, Latonia is a patriot at heart. It’s interesting because my very last tournament as a player was her first so we actually played together for one tournament. I hope it’s not her last. She still has a lot to offer – her spirit, her personality, everything she stands for is what Barbados netball is all about.”

SCORES:
Q1: 20-8
Q2: 42-18 (22-10)
Q3: 65-22 (23-4)
Q4: 90-29 (25-7)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Funmi Fadoju (England)

MALAWI 55-49 SCOTLAND

In a pulsating match at the Netball World Cup 2023, the Malawi Queens scored a 55-49 come-from-behind victory over Scotland. It was the first time these two sides have met in the history of the sport’s showpiece tournament.

Before the tournament started, Scotland captain Claire Maxwell said her team wanted to shake the tag of underachievers. This result certainly didn’t do anything to achieve what she set out to do.

The match started with a bang as Malawi's shooting duo, Joyce Mvula and Jane Chimaliro, displayed remarkable accuracy, converting all their chances at goal in the first quarter. But despite their impeccable shooting, Malawi struggled to retain possession, with only 37 per cent of the ball in their hands. Scotland held a comfortable 17-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and it looked like an upset was on the cards.

In the second 15 minutes, the African team kicked into high gear, proving their mettle and resilience. With fresh legs stepping in from the bench, the team started gradually chipping away at the seemingly insurmountable lead Scotland had established earlier on.

Scotland, on the other hand, started the first three quarters with an unchanged lineup, sticking to their initial strategy of staying with the tried and tested. They introduced replacements in the final 15 minutes in an attempt to salvage the match but it was not to be.

Malawi will undoubtedly want to build on the exceptional performance against Scotland with their eyes set on the playoffs. For their opponents it is time to regroup and refine their match strategies, hoping to bounce back stronger.

Q1: 17-9
Q2: 29-22 (12-13)
Q3: 41-35 (12-13)
Q4: 55-49 (20-8)

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Joyce Mvula (Malawi)

Malawi look to stars for NWC2023 glory

Malawi have selected their 12 athletes to represent at this year’s Netball World Cup.

Amongst the players selected are two Netball Super League (NSL) superstars, Strathclyde Sirens’ Towera Vinkhumbo and Team Bath’s Caroline Mtukule.

Vinkhumbo had a standout season for her Sirens side, finishing top of the leaderboard for the most intercepts, with a staggering 75 being taken.

She also recorded the most number of turnovers in the 2023 season; a huge 115 to her name. Just one more than Celtic Dragons Goal Keeper, Shaquanda Greene-Noel.

Mtukule was a new signing for Team Bath and played her first season in the Netball Super League in 2023.

A key player in their defensive end, she came up against some of the biggest names in the NSL with no fear. She will definitely be one to watch at the Netball World Cup.

SQUAD

Jane Chimaliro, Martha Dambo, Thadin Galleta, Mwai Kumwenda, Takondwa Lwazi, Madalitso Mkandawire, Caroline Mtukule, Joyce Mvula, Grace Mwafulirwa, Loreen Ngwira, Sindi Simtowe, Towera Vinkhumbo. Reserves: Shabel Bengo, Florence Gamuka, Salome Nkhoma