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Calypso Girls lose opener to South Africa by 31 goals

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Calypso Girls lose opener to South Africa by 31 goals

Na­tion­al goal-shoot­er Saman­tha Wal­lace and goal-at­tack Kali­fa Mc­Collin as ex­pect­ed shot with a high lev­el of ac­cu­ra­cy but un­for­tu­nate­ly the Ca­lyp­so Girls went un­der to South Africa, 76-45 in their first match of the Net­ball World Cup, yes­ter­day. This was at the M&S Bank Are­na in Liv­er­pool, Eng­land.

Pedro Enrique Loyo Diaz

It was a bit­ter­sweet evening for cap­tain Rhon­da John-Davis, who made his­to­ry by ap­pear­ing at her sixth World Cup but was un­able to stop her side slip­ping to a 76-45 de­feat to the Pro­teas.

Pedro Loyo

Wal­lace led the T&T team with 28 goals from 30 at­tempts and Mc­Collin net­ted 11 goals from 14 tries. Lat­er, Jameela Mc­Carthy joined the at­tack re­plac­ing Mc­Collin as the goal-at­tack, who end­ed with six from sev­en at­tempts.

Pedro Loyo Diaz

The sides trad­ed goals in the ear­ly stages, how­ev­er, the Pro­teas quick­ly got in­to their stride, tak­ing ad­van­tage of over­thrown pass­es to take an 8-4 lead

How­ev­er, to the de­light of the crowd, the Ca­lyp­so Girls hit back strong­ly, nar­row­ing the deficit to just one goal, be­fore spurn­ing an op­por­tu­ni­ty to equalise fol­low­ing an in­ter­cep­tion. Af­ter win­ning pos­ses­sion back in a sim­i­lar fash­ion, South Africa then pulled away, stretch­ing their lead to four goals, and hold­ing a 19-15 ad­van­tage

In the sec­ond quar­ter, the South Africans made three con­sec­u­tive pos­ses­sions tell, with their at­tack­ers tak­ing the score to 22-15, as the Caribbean strug­gled to con­tain the un­err­ing pre­ci­sion of their op­po­nents

The po­tent at­tack­ing pair of Lenize Pot­gi­eter (42/43) and Mary­ka Holtzhausen en­sured (18/22) that the lead stretched to 10 goals. The mid­dle phase of the quar­ter was scrap­py, with both sides con­ced­ing pos­ses­sion eas­i­ly. Erin Burg­er’s in­ter­cep­tion helped the South Africans ease fur­ther ahead though, as they es­tab­lished a 38-25

Through­out the half, wing-at­tack Bongi­we Mso­mi was a dri­ving force, with her ac­cu­rate, quick pass­es giv­ing her team-mates good chances to score. A typ­i­cal in­ter­cep­tion from her meant that South Africa en­tered the dress­ing rooms at half time with a com­mand­ing 40-25 lead and left the Ca­lyp­so Girls with a moun­tain to climb in the sec­ond half

T&T start­ed the sec­ond half list­less­ly, con­ced­ing pos­ses­sion too of­ten in promis­ing sit­u­a­tions. South Africa con­tin­ued their re­lent­less dom­i­nance tak­ing the score out to 45-28. The dif­fer­ence be­tween the sides was a re­flec­tion of the abil­i­ty of the Pro­teas to ex­ploit the space in the shoot­ing arc. Pot­geit­er’s fo­cussed shoot­ing in front of the net was a con­stant – she had 98 per cent ac­cu­ra­cy as South Africa ex­tend­ed the ad­van­tage to 54-32. Both teams ex­changed a cou­ple more goals be­fore the end of the third quar­ter

The fourth would prove to be a more even af­fair, with both teams reg­u­lar­ly scor­ing. How­ev­er, South Africa pro­duced a sud­den burst of goals and was com­fort­ably in front as John-Davis was sub­sti­tut­ed, bring­ing to an end her his­toric ap­pear­ance

Al­so shoot­ing for South Africa was Sigrid Burg­er, who was sub­sti­tut­ed in as goal-shoot­er for Pot­gi­eter. She net­ted 16 of 18

John-Davis‘ ap­pear­ance en­sured thats she is now out on her own as the most pro­lif­ic play­er in Net­ball World Cup his­to­ry, with her six tour­na­ments putting her ahead of a host of play­ers who have played in five edi­tions of the com­pe­ti­tion. How­ev­er, she was re­luc­tant to dwell on that achieve­ment

She said: “I’m a com­peti­tor, so it’s re­al­ly tough to fo­cus on be­ing proud of mak­ing a sixth World Cup af­ter we have just lost by such a big mar­gin. It is a great ac­com­plish­ment, but in that loss we def­i­nite­ly strug­gled

“We lacked dis­ci­pline at times, and when things were work­ing for us we de­cid­ed to change up, which won’t help us, so that was our main down­fall to­day.”

T&T face Ja­maica in their sec­ond match of the tour­na­ment to­mor­row, and John-Davis be­lieves that the re­lent­less run of fix­tures should help each team to fine-tune their per­for­mances

“It’s help­ful be­cause you can’t dwell on the loss – you have to learn from it and show that when you go to the next game, you don’t make the same mis­takes.”

Af­ter re­flect­ing on the de­feat, John-Davis al­so ac­knowl­edged how far the sport has come since her first World Cup tour­na­ment in 1999

“There’s more in­ter­est now,” she said. “There’s a lot more phys­i­cal­i­ty in the game and the net­ball na­tions are play­ing more and more. There’s more com­pe­ti­tion and there are more play­ers, and that’s great for the sport, be­cause it can on­ly rise fur­ther from here.”

In the oth­er Group C match, Ja­maica was its spec­tac­u­lar self in its open­er against 17th ranked Fi­ji. The “Sun­shine Girls” put on a dom­i­nat­ing per­for­mance beat­ing Fi­jians, 85-29

An­oth­er Caribbean neigh­bour, Bar­ba­dos, be­gan its cam­paign with phys­i­cal flair and style as they put on a dom­i­nant dis­play against Sin­ga­pore, win­ning 69-34

T&T net­ballers will try to re­group quick­ly as they are back on the court to­day against the Ja­maicans.

Yes­ter­day re­sults:

T&T (10th) 45 vs South Africa (5th)

Aus­tralia (1st) 88 vs North­ern Ire­land (8th) 24

Ja­maica (2nd) 85 vs Fi­ji (17th) 29

New Zealand (4th) 64 vs Malawi (9th) 45

Zim­bab­we (13th) 79 vs Sri Lan­ka (18th) 49

Bar­ba­dos (11th) 69 vs Sin­ga­pore (26th) 34

Eng­land (3rd) 64 vs Ugan­da (6th) 32

Scot­land (7th) 53 vs Samoa (14th) 35