Perfect Sunshine Girls relaxed ahead of New Zealand test
THE SUNSHINE Girls watched as a torrid game of netball unfolded between hosts at the Netball World Cup South Africa and New Zealand. At the end of it, the visitors, who hold hopes of lifting the title for the first time, had qualified for the competition’s semi-final.
That game ended 48-48, meaning South Africa, who now have five points and lie third in the standings, cannot surpass Jamaica with just a game to go in the competition’s second round.
The Sunshine Girls, on the other hand, had a slightly easier day, running out 89-26 winners over Trinidad and Tobago to land on a perfect eight points from four games.
New Zealand, who slipped for the first time this tournament, are second with seven points and want to win when they play the Sunshine Girls today at 4:00 a.m. Jamaica time to ensure that they are in the semi-finals.
Speaking with the Gleaner’s Daniel Wheeler after Trinidad and Tobago’s mauling, World Cup newbie Crystal Plummer didn’t think the game today any different from any of the other high-paced, high-quality games she has now become more used to playing in.
“Personally, I will just do what the coach asks me to do. As a team, we just have to maintain that team discipline and maintain the mindset that we have had going into that game,” said the young centre/wing defender.
Her captain, Jhaniele Fowler, agrees.
“We just have to play our game. Stay disciplined in defence and in attack and we should be fine,” said Fowler.
Earlier, Fowler had an easier night than most, coming off the bench in the third quarter to score 16 goals.
The night was made easy by a Jamaica side that started with a 20-6 first-quarter blitz, from which there was no recovery for the Trinbagonians.
Things were made worse in the second quarter, with Jamaica running out 24-4 winners to end the half 44-10.
Trinidad and Tobago would recover a little, to score nine and seven goals in the second half, but the Jamaicans, who scored 25 and 20 did not let up on the offensive end of the court.
Romelda Aiken-George led all scorers with 38 goals while Shanice Beckford notched 20 in a game she seemed to be using as shooting practice ahead of tougher nights for her goal shooter.
Rebekah Robinson also chipped in with 15 goals of her own.