Sunshine Girls face Scotland for consolation place

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@ The Netball World Cup
In Liverpool, England

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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LIVERPOOL, England — Jamaica's players and coaching staff, hit hard by back-to-back losses at the Netball World Cup, are putting on a brave face as they look to take consolation at the tournament.

The Sunshine Girls, ranked second in the world, are virtually eliminated from medal contention after going down to South Africa and England on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

But they say they are determined to win their remaining matches to finish as high as possible.

Today they take on world number seven Scotland in a scheduled 5:00 pm (11:00 am Jamaica time) match at M&S Bank Arena.

“They are proud ladies and I'm sure they don't want to finish worse than fifth, so if fifth is the best possible position left, then that is what they are going for,” head coach Marvette Anderson told the Jamaica Observer after training at Exhibition Centre Liverpool yesterday.

Tomorrow, they battle sixth-ranked Uganda, starting 6:00 pm (12:00 pm Jamaica time) at the same venue. Scotland cannot advance to the semi-finals, while Uganda only have a flicker of a chance if they beat South Africa today.

Anderson said: “We believe that we can finish strongly and we are going out there to show the world… [because] things happen and it was just not our time this time around.

“The hardest part about any disappointment is picking up yourself and moving forward. But I think we have a group of ladies that has done that well. It's not the first they have been down, and they know what it takes and what is at stake.”

Her assistant Winston Nevers scripted a similar song yesterday.

“We had a reset meeting this morning and discussed how we want to end on a good note. We want to represent our country and it doesn't matter the team that we play, because if a co-called small team beat you it's going to be worse,” he said.

“They will bring a test because they have tall players in midcourt and they have good shooters. I don't know if their defence can hold up to our attack, especially our shooter Jhaniele Fowler, who is shooting 100 per cent and 95 per cent,” Nevers added.

Inaccurate passing and lack of energy and cohesion were glaring during the matches the Sunshine Girls lost.

The assistant coach told the Observer that he has demanded a much improved show today.

“We want to see the movement on the court, the concentration level, and the decision-making and also using set plays. We've been moving away from our game plan and moving away from doing the right things. We've been doing whatever we want on the court and it just cannot work like that when it comes to the international game,” he said.

Goal shooter Romelda Aiken has not played many minutes so far but said she has been doing what she can off the court.

“I'm still trying to drive that [positivity] throughout the camp, and that's been going well. It's my job… making sure the girls are still in the right head space to go into our next match,” she told journalists after the deflating defeat to third-ranked England that all but killed off semi-final ambitions.

“The girls are still very positive but obviously after this they are — we'll all be very devastated because it's not what we planned or where we wanted to finish. We still got a lot of stuff to work on.”

Aiken started ahead of captain Jhaniele Fowler in the opening-game win over Fiji, and scored 26 goals, but has had a bit part role since.

She came off the bench in the victory over Trinidad and Tobago, but played no part against South Africa, and had limited minutes late on versus England.

The goal shooter said basic mistakes hurt them badly in the losses.

“The girls really tried their best… a few simple errors cost us the game. It [committing turnovers] was one of our big challenges coming out of the South Africa game and into [the one against England]. We wanted to capitalise on their turnovers and make sure we restricted them, but it's just small errors,” Aiken lamented.

Today's matches

First session

Sri Lanka vs Fiji

Singapore vs Samoa

Second session

Trinidad and Tobago vs England

Jamaica vs Scotland

South Africa vs Uganda

Yesterday's results

Fiji 71, Singapore 56

Sri Lanka 55, Samoa 65

Northern Ireland 28, New Zealand 77

Australia 74, Malawi 25

Zimbabwe 66, Barbados 41

—Sanjay Myers


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