Posts filed under ‘Netball’

A Long Wait

There are many sporting teams who have never managed to reach the summit and claim that elusive title, but when one that has been competing for decades finally achieves that goal its worth sharing.

Mangaung in South Africa – formerly known as Free State – finally became national netball champions after over 50 years in the competition. They came from behind last weekend to beat favourites Gauteng 39-36.

The last time Free State won the title was when Southern Free State were champions in 1961 and then backed up to win again in 1962.

What made this victory all the more special is that Mangaung have played in six finals in the last ten years and on each occasion ended up on the losing side. Gauteng were going for their fourth successive title.

So congratulations to Mangaung enjoy the moment; we certainly hope it will not be another 50 years before your next title. 

August 21, 2013 at 11:55 am Leave a comment

Challenge Ahead for Aitken

Until recently Australia and New Zealand have dominated the World netball scene, but England’s defeat of Australia earlier in the year has implied that a changing of the guard may be just around the corner.

Jamaica and South Africa have always been two nations knocking at the door waiting to be invited to join the top table but there may be a surprise package in Singapore. They will certainly be a nation to watch in the coming years.

To match their ambition, in December they appointed former Silver Ferns player and coach Ruth Aitken Director and National coach, however she only took up the post last week.

Aitken admitted there would be new challenges moving from a team perennially ranked in the top two to a team ranked 21 in the world. She has set her goals on developing the talent that exists and trying to instil a winning mentality. Her first test will be the World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow next month. which will be followed by the 2013 Nations Cup in December; a tournament hosted by Singapore but which the host nation has failed to win since 2007.

Aitken has already stated after one training session that the intensity has to be raised by the team and so too their fitness. Her goal is to the see the team quickly jump three to four places in the world rankings and then be in a position to compete at the Commonwealth Games with the top twelve teams in the Commonwealth.

Aitken is used to success, and there is no doubt this will be a big challenge, Singapore will not be challenging the big guns just yet but as they say, the only way is up when you are a lower ranked nation.

July 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm Leave a comment

Time To Find Common Ground

‘Its not what you do it’s the way that you do it, and that’s what gets results’ is how the song goes, and it would appear to be true of the ANZ Netball Championship.

Last night the West Coast Fever won their last home game of the season, to equal their record of five wins in a season set in 2009, and they still have one game to go.

The Southern Steel remained in mathematical contention for the finals before last night’s 14-goal loss to the Fever.Post match their coach Janine Southby who has coached the New Zealand side to a much-improved season asked for something to be done about the way the game is officiated as the differences, between Australia and New Zealand are affecting performances.

She was quoted as saying to that officials from each country need to get together and work together on finding common ground in terms of interpretation of the rules.

“It’s frustrating because when you don’t come up against it every week you sometimes come back and forget that things are done differently. It means you have a different preparation from week to week, and I know the Australian teams find it going over our way too.I do think for the game to have some consistency from a playing perspective that it should happen. It’s hard on the players to adjust week to week not knowing what is going to get called. It is challenging.” Southby said.

Some may say that her words smack of sour grapes having seen their season come to an end against a fired up Fever side smarting from Coach Norma Plummer’s public roasting last week. However that would be unfair, this issue has been raised throughout the 2013 season and hopefully the powers that be will sit down in the off season and come up with a plan that will result in more consistency.

Fever fans will also be looking at the word consistency to see if their team can put together a similar performance away to the Melbourne Vixens in their last game of the 2013 season.



June 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm Leave a comment

Back on Top of the World

In order to appreciate its true worth a diamond has to be polished. It was a polished display by the Diamonds, Australia’s netball team that saw them win them clinch not only a series win over arch rivals the Silver Ferns, but also reclaim the number one spot in the World.

Caitlin Bassett from the West Coast Fever is now beginning to show the consistency that her undoubted ability lacked. She scored 20 goals from 22 attempts including the match winner in extra time.

Catherine Cox for Australia and Irene van Dyk may have dominated the headlines in previous trans-Tasman stoushes but Bassett has now come out of the shadows and shown that she is indeed a force to be reckoned with.

This was incredibly the first time in eleven games that one team had won two games back to back, that is how close these two nations are in Netball.

Congratulations must also go out to Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman who incredibly since making her international debut in 2005 has not missed a single international game; This defeat being her 71st consecutive game for the Silver Ferns, a truly remarkable achievement.

October 31, 2011 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

On Fire

Congratulations must go to the Queensland Firebirds becoming the first team in the ANZ Championship to go through the entire season, including the Finals undefeated.

They brought their season to the perfect end when they defeated the Auckland-based Northern Mystics 57-44 at the weekend, their 15th straight win of the season. This result also eclipsed the previous biggest grand final winning margin set by Adelaide Thunderbirds last year, which was 10 points.

Coach Roselee Jencke has set the benchmark for her girls when she said “I Think it is easy to do it one time but it’s all about coming back and doing it again. That’s our next challenge.”

Having done something no other netball team has done she believes it will make the team hungrier for next season.

One thing is for sure they are bound to have raised the bar in the ANZ Championship and next season should be another great tournament.

May 24, 2011 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

ANZ Netball Championships

Season two of the ANZ Netball Championship started last week. It was great to see the Trans Tasman league and fantastic to see what is the number one women’s sport receiving live television coverage. One issue was the fixturing last year and this has not been fixed in season two, with Australian teams playing each other twice and their New Zealand counterparts only once, and vice versa. Hopefully season three will see this glitch sorted out when the league is on strong financial footing

April 10, 2009 at 12:35 am 1 comment

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