Netball World Cup: Malawi push New Zealand, undefeated run comes to an end
New Zealand was forced to introduce their big guns to avoid a monumental upset at the Netball World Cup in Sydney after being pushed by determined Malawi side , but eventually Malawi tasted a first loss 57-49.
Coming from a tough game yesterday against Jamaica, New Zealand decided to openly flaunt their complacency in Malawi’s face by resting some key players such as Maria Tutia in attack. Malawi though was going to have none of it. New Zealand was just ahead 16-13 at the first break.
The second quarter started with the same intensity as the first with Malawi tenacious and hungry in defence. Malawi shooters Kumwenda and Sindi Sometowe gave the New Zealand defenders trouble however it was the Ferns who converted on the scoreboard, taking a six goal lead into half-time
The third quarter saw a shuffle in the defence circle with Silver Ferns goals defender Katrina Grant replaced by Leana de Bruin. Malawi opened up the court in the third quarter, Kumwenda was exceptional impressive overhead, and punishing on the scoreboard. Malawi won the third quarter 15-12.
The third quarter Malawi come back made New Zealand make changes introducing Maria Tutia for Jodi Brown in goal attack. Tutia helped New Zealand battle to a 57-49 win.
Malawi coach Peace Kalua said ‘her girls needed to put up a strong fight because that’s what New Zealand ask of us”.
Silver Ferns wing defence Kayla Cullen says “Malawi were a very physical opposition, we had to match their movement across court and put pressure on them at every opportunity”.