Malawi national netball team should brace for a strong challenge from hosts, New Zealand’s Silver Ferns, in today’s opener for Taini Jameson Trophy at North Shore Events Centre in Auckland.
The four-team competition gets under way in a round-robin format from today and the next three nights, with the final taking place on Saturday.
According to www. stuff.co.nz, anything less than a victory would be considered a disaster from New Zealand’s point of view, as Silver Ferns bid to bounce back from their miserable year when they let go the Fast5 Netball World Series’ title.
New Zealand attacker, Maria Folau, told www. stuff.co.nz that the Silver Ferns had become predictable to opposing teams.
“There is so much passion in this camp and the things we said we were going to do, after the Quad Series in January, everyone is doing,” Folau told the publication.
She added that it will not be easy playing against Malawi who are on a 10- game losing streak.
Silver Ferns Coach, Janine Southby, shared similar remarks.
“I wouldn’t say they are easy. Malawi are coming off decent form against the Silver Ferns being a three-goal and a six-goal loss when we last played them in 2015. They have a pretty similar team to what they had, they pushed England last year in November, so we know we have to be on top of our game,” she told the same publication.
With home ground advantage, Silver Ferns are favourites over Malawi, Jamaica and Fiji.
The teams will use the tournament to fine-tune for the Commonwealth Games set for Gold Coast in Australia next month.
Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said they arrived in New Zealand well and all players were in good spirits.
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