Malawi Queens stumble
Beaten Malawi Queens’ chances of breaking into the world’s top-four ranking hang by a thread— they now need a proper game-plan to overcome Jamaica on Friday at the Netball World Cup in Australia.
After a four-game winning run, the Queens’ perfect record ended at Allphones Arena in Sydney, yesterday when they lost to number two ranked, New Zealand’s Silver Ferns, 57-49.
Now the Queens face reggae women, Jamaica, in a must-win pool E qualifying round match to decide the semifinal ticket. Jamaica today play against Uganda. Similarly, Jamaica must also beat the She- Cranes to keep their semifinal dream alive.
The furthest the Queens have reached at the World Cup is the fifth position.
Malawi coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa said they would reflect on the New Zealand game before drawing a game-plan for Jamaica.
“New Zealand and Jamaica play a different game,” she said.
During yesterday’s match, history repeated itself when Malawi put up a spirited performance after overcoming a shaky start.
The Queens trailed 6-0 in the opening three minutes, but recovered to lose narrowly the first quarter 16-13. The Silver Ferns extended the lead at half time to 30-24.
Malawi’s goalkeeper Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda was outstanding with numerous interceptions, but the Queens’ defence generally had problems dealing with aerial balls.
Centre Takondwa Lwazi and wing attack Bridget Kumwenda kept the supply line flowing feeding goal shooter Mwawi Kumwenda and goal attack Sindie Simtowe with telling passes.
At some point the Queens reduced the margin to two baskets, but some questionable decisions from the umpire helped the Silver Ferns recover.
The Queens’ shooting accuracy was at 89 percent beating New Zealand who had 86 percent.
Meanwhile, New Zealand coach Waimarama Taumaunu said it was a physical game.
I thought it was pretty physical and I thought there was a lot of advantage and we’ve got some bruises and things to show for it. That was a bit disappointing,” Taumaunu told www.stuff.co.nz.
Taumaunu sought clarification from umpires Jackie Mizone and Sharon Kelly immediately after the game about whether hits of that nature were to be expected from now on.
“There was a lot of advantage we thought being played off the ball when we had people that were hurt. Goal attack Jodi Brown had to be replaced at three-quarter time after taking a hit in the back,” she added.
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