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Lucky escape for Queens

Tri-Nation tourney will not affect ranking

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Malawi National Netball Team has no reason to worry about their ranking status when facing highly rated opponents England and South Africa in a closed-door Tri-Nation tournament in Cape Town.

The tournament comes after Queens triumphed in the Cosana Tri- Nation tournament at home against lowly ranked sides Zimbabwe’s Gems (ranked 13) and Namibia’s Dessert Jewels (ranked 22).

Queens, who are seventh on World rankings, do not have realistic chances to stun third-ranked England and fifth placed South Africa.

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Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) General Secretary Isaac Chimwala said the nature of the tournament was ideal for the Queens as the results will not affect ranking.

“It is a good yardstick for Commonwealth Games preparations. The coach will not panic for results but rather work on plans to improve the team in all areas. She will have time to try all her players and combinations.

“Unlike the Cosana Tri-Nation tournament whose results will have bearing on World Rankings, this tournament is purely for assessment,” he said.

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Chimwala said being a tournament without spectators, the Queens will not be under any pressure to deliver.

Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, having arrived in South Africa yesterday after leaving the country on Thursday via Ethiopia, said she was yet to settle down hence could not comment.

However, former Queens goal-defender Neffie Kam’mata said the senior side needed to tread cautiously as both England and South Africa might want to analyse Malawi.

“If the tournament will not have any bearing on rankings then it means that our counterparts have serious motives. Even though the team won the Cosana Tri- Nation tournament they have a long way to go to improve on their ranking,” the former Tigresses player said.

Queens have picked a strong side ahead of the friendly games following the arrival of Joyce Mvula.

Mvula, who sealed a move from Manchester Thunder to ANZ Premiership side Central Pulse, did not feature for the Queens during the Cosana Tri- Nation tournament held in the country last week as she was yet to arrive.

The likes of Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira, Thandi Galeta, Takondwa Lwazi, Bridget Kumwenda, Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya and Jane Chimaliro are part of the squad.

The Queens left the country after being hosted by their new Matron First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera to a breakfast.

Statistics do not favour the Queens ahead of the indoor games.

Two years ago, the Queens lost all three games when they met Spar Proteas at the Superbowl in Sun City.

Malawi lost the first match 65-25 and 62-29 in the second before falling 69-28 in the final match.

Last year, Queens’ mission to reclaim the 2021 Africa Netball Cup, was dented after suffering 56-39 defeat to holders, South Africa Spar Proteas, at Wanderers Sports Club in Windhoek, Namibia.

In 2019, South Africa beat the Queens 56-51 in Cape Town to win the continental showpiece.

The last time that the SPAR Proteas lost to an African country was at the 2015 World Cup when the Malawi Queens triumphed in the opening round.

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