Commonwealth Games: England beat New Zealand to top Pool B, Australia await in netball semi-finals | Netball News

Emma Thurston

Interviews, comments & analyzes

England beat New Zealand by 10 goals and remain unbeaten as they try to defend the title they won four years ago on the Gold Coast; the home side’s next game will be a semi-final tie against Australia on Saturday; New Zealand and Jamaica will face off in the other semi-final

Last update: 04/08/22 23:04

England now emerge undefeated from Pool B and will face Australia in the semi-finals

England now emerge undefeated from Pool B and will face Australia in the semi-finals

England produced a stunning performance to beat New Zealand 54-44 to top Pool B and book a semi-final encounter with Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

Jess Thirlby’s side rocked New Zealand early on at the NEC Arena and forced their opponents into constant personnel changes throughout the 60 minutes.

After a strong start, England were caught and held a narrow 25-24 half-time lead. However, they controlled the second half exceptionally well and thrived on the backing of the home crowd.

England will now face Australia in the semi-finals on Saturday after Jamaica stunned the Diamonds earlier on Thursday. The Sunshine Girls’ 57-55 win secured them the Pool A lead and Australia had to settle for second place.

Jamaica and New Zealand will meet in the other semi-final on Saturday. The gold medal game will take place on Sunday at the NEC Arena.

England vs New Zealand – Starting Sevens

England New Zealand
GS: Eleanor Cardwell GS: Grace Nweke
AG: Helen Housby AG: Maia Wilson
WA: Nat Metcalf WA: Gina Crampton
C: Jade Clarke C: Whitney Souness
WD: Stacey Francis-Bayman WD: Kayla Johnson
General Manager: Layla Guscoth CEO: Sulu Fitzpatrick
GK: Mentor Geva GK: Kelly Jury

England took the first central pass and immediately converted it into a goal with captain Nat Metcalf quickly finding Eleanor Cardwell under the post.

Cardwell had been selected to start alongside Helen Housby in England’s shooting part, while in the other shooting circle, 20-year-old Grace Nweke was the target for New Zealand.

Early on, the experienced Geva Mentor and Layla Guscoth disrupted Nweke’s pace and shots, as well as that of striker Maia Wilson. England pressed 5-2 then 10-5 in front, after clinically converting rebounds and spikes towards goal.

Five minutes from the end of the first quarter, New Zealand had managed just 50% of their shots on goal, a number unheard of internationally, while England were leading on 85%.

The Silver Ferns used the latter part of the quarter to settle somewhat and improve their accuracy, resulting in a 15-8 score in England’s favor in the first break.

England vs New Zealand – Quarter by quarter results

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 FT
England 15 ten 14 15 54
New Zealand 8 16 9 11 44

Taurua have made changes to New Zealand’s roster for the second quarter.

Kate Heffernan was brought into the wing defense in an attempt to diminish the work of Metcalf, who had imperiously commanded the third goal in the opening 15 minutes.

Te Paea Selby-Rickit replaced Wilson in attack on goal, while England remained unchanged as they aimed to offer more of the same.

England’s opening shot was missed, New Zealand then delivered a two-goal run to tighten things up and gained confidence from there.

Selby-Rickit opened up space for them in attack and defence, with Heffernan in the New Zealand area it started to become much more difficult for England.

New Zealand took command for 10 minutes, going 12-6 up in the quarter and 16-10 to make it a one-goal game at halftime.

Layla Guscoth and her defensive partner Geva Mentor were relentless in their work on the pitch

Layla Guscoth and her defensive partner Geva Mentor were relentless in their work on the pitch

The third quarter is often known as the ‘Championship Quarterback’ due to its crucial nature and Thirlby was the one to effect personnel changes.

Jo Harten arrived at the shooter to join Housby, while New Zealand stuck to the formation that turned the game around for them in the second quarter.

England has taken the first step; turn the ball, convert handling errors into goals and increase their intensity from position to position.

Metcalf became as effective as she was in the first quarter. Harten, who struggled with a knee problem throughout this tournament, fed Housby superbly.

Housby continued to show what a high-caliber player she was, and due to her 190th cap, Jade Clarke was resolute at center.

England squad – Commonwealth Games fixtures and results

Friday England 74-22 Trinidad and Tobago
Saturday England 66-41 Malawi
Monday England 71-27 Northern Ireland
Tuesday England 56-35 Uganda
Thursday England 54-44 New Zealand
Saturday August 6 Semi-final against Australia
Sunday August 7 Final and match for bronze

After England had created a seven-goal lead and retained all the momentum, New Zealand were forced to shuffle their hand again in midfield. They worked hard but went six short at the final break.

The final 15 minutes were all about England, as they coolly handled the Silver Ferns by staying in touch with them and then accelerating with determination.

Imogen Allison, who was not in Thirlby’s top 12, single-handedly exemplified their desire and confidence. His late tip, followed by a third pass from the cross on goal while falling off the pitch, raised the roof.

Cardwell returned to the shooter and her vocal presence combined with team actions to ensure England crossed the line.

After a day off, a rematch of the 2018 final on the Gold Coast now awaits with Australia in the semi-finals on Saturday and England couldn’t be better prepared if they tried.

Leave a Comment