Sunshine Girls take aim at New Zealand
GLASGOW, Scotland — Jamaica's netballers, already assured of a semi-final spot at the Commonwealth Games, will today take on world number two New Zealand in a group fixture at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC).
Match time is 11:30 am (5:30 am Jamaica time).
Jamaica soared to the top of Group A with four wins, the last being an 81-50 victory over a pesky Malawi, who are ranked fifth in the world.
In the other games, the Sunshine Girls cut down St Lucia 88-24, Northern Ireland 65-38, and Scotland 68-26.
Looking ahead to today's match-up against the Kiwis, towering goal-shooter Jhaniele Fowler-Reid says her team will develop a specific plan for them, as they have done for all opponents.
"New Zealand is a different team and we are going to make a different game plan to be ready for whatever New Zealand bring...we have confidence going into that game," she said. Speaking to the New Zealand match-up, clearly the toughest for the Jamaicans so far, coach Minneth Reynolds stated that the emphasis in training sessions have been on defence.
"We still have another training session, and we will still be focusing on defence," she said at the end of the Malawi game on Monday.
In that match, the Jamaicans did a creditable job on Malawi's top player Mwai Kumwenda, restricting her to only 31 successful shots. At the other end, Fowler-Reid got 55 from 59 attempts. And she was not satisfied.
"I should have done better. I should have scored 100 points," said the giant shooter.
Victory over Malawi, she claimed, was just what the doctor ordered.
"It was not surprising because we had a game plan and we came and executed it."
Qualifying for the semi-final of these play-offs brings a sense of joy to coach Reynolds, but she knows very well that the job is far from over.
"We are so excited that we are in the semi-finals and are looking forward to seeing what's yet to come."
Jamaica are ranked fourth in the world behind Australia (first), New Zealand (second) and England (third).