Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


NZ Netball team tested by gallant Malawi in Games opener

NZ Netball team tested by gallant Malawi in Games opener

Media Advisory
25 July 2014

The NZ Netball team were pushed all the way before edging to a 50-47 win over Malawi in their opening match of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Friday.

The unorthodox but highly-effective Malawi provided a challenging contest for the Kiwis who took the greater part of the match to finally subdue their plucky opponents.

Building slender buffers on several occasions, the New Zealanders were unable to stamp any real authority, an improved defensive effort and more impetus on attack finally seeing them over the line.

For much of the game, the well-performed Malawi threatened to produce one of the biggest upsets in world netball as they crafted probably their best performance ever, in the process leaving the New Zealanders with plenty to ponder ahead of the rest of their Games campaign.

The NZ netballers showed plenty of respect for the world’s fifth-ranked Malawi when presenting with a near full-strength line-up, the notable exception being captain Casey Kopua. Her usual place of goal defence was filled by Katrina Grant playing her 50th test while Leana de Bruin slotted in at goalkeeper and vice-captain Laura Langman lined up for her 101st consecutive test.

The recent retirement of Irene van Dyk cast Cathrine Latu into the spotlight, the New Zealand circle without their peerless shooter for the first time in 15 years.

After scoring the first three goals, the New Zealanders knew they had a game on their hands as the Malawi Queens refused to take a backward step against the defending Commonwealth Games champions.

Showing precise and patient transition through court, Malawi tracked the New Zealanders through a tight first half. On the back of a stellar debut ANZ Championship season, goal shoot Mwai Kumwenda produced a dominant performance with her athleticism and aerial skills in tandem with a strong effort from her attack line.

A mid-quarter run propelled the New Zealand team to a four-goal lead but it was short-lived as Malawi benefited from a series of offensive penalties from their opponents, the New Zealanders taking a slender 14-13 lead into the first break.

A strong start on the resumption again pushed the Kiwis out to a four-goal advantage but they struggled to shake the well-drilled and purposeful Malawians who continued to retain a strong presence in the contest.

Latu and Maria Tutaia were well contained by an effective Malawi defensive unit, a flat-looking NZ side finding it hard to generate any momentum. There were no such problems for the classy Kumwenda, easily the highest scorer on court as she stole the show.

Making few mistakes and with their ability to retain possession, the increasingly well-performed Malawi ensured there was no easy road for the world’s second ranked team as the they went to the main break locked up at 25-all.

Looking to up the ante, the New Zealanders rolled out the changes for the second half with Kopua assuming the goalkeeper’s role, Jodi Brown replacing Tutaia, Anna Harrison in at wing defence for Joline Henry and Shannon Francois taking over at wing attack from Liana Leota.

Again the New Zealanders got off to a strong start, better defensive pressure gaining turnover ball while Latu and Brown combined effectively under the hoop.

But largely untroubled in getting the ball through court, Malawi were far from done as they pushed into the lead with their never-say-die attitude. It took a final surge from New Zealand to reclaim the lead in a game they made hard work of before hitting the last break with a tenuous 37-35 lead.

Please click here for the 2014 Media Guide for the New Zealand Netball Team at the Commonwealth Games.

-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

TV3 Video: NZ Praised For Sportsmanship After Cricket World Cup Final Loss

New Zealand may have been outplayed in the Cricket World Cup final by Australia, but received praise worldwide for their graciousness in defeat. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Werewolf: Finding Love In Hell

Will it really be 25 years in May since David Lynch’s Wild at Heart won big at Cannes, nabbing no less than the Palme d’Or? Amazing but true, and yet the film that was briefly Lynch’s most feted, now seems to be his most forgotten. More>>

ALSO:

Cricket: Dramatic Win Puts Black Caps In Finals

In Parliament: When Parliament resumed at 2pm the House passed a motion on a voice vote admiring the performance of the New Zealand cricket team in last night’s World Cup semi-final and wishing them well for the final on the weekend. More>>

ALSO:

Moon Shot/Kills Switch: The X Factor Judges Removed

MediaWorks has today decided that Natalia Kills and Willie Moon are no longer suitable to judge The X Factor and have removed them from the show. MediaWorks CEO, Mark Weldon, said that last night on The X Factor both Kills and Moon made comments that were completely unacceptable. More>>

ALSO:

Tessa Nichol: Up Up & Away In The Wairarapa

It’s an overcast morning in the Wairarapa but the mood on the ground in Carterton’s Carrington Park is anything but grey. More than 20 hot air balloons are getting ready to take off into the cloudy sky to mark the start of this year’s Wairarapa Balloon Festival. More>>

Golden Shears: Scotsman Wins Golden Shears Open Final

A Scottish shearer who settled in New Zealand to farm in Taranaki has become the first shearer from overseas to win the Golden Shears Open Shearing Championship. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news