The Sunshine Girls have laid down a firm marker to the rest of the pack who will be at the Commonwealth Games following their back to back wins against the Silver Ferns, to clinch the Taini Jamison Trophy. Elsewhere, Malawi defeated Fiji to claim a third placed finish.
Malawi 78 – 46 Fiji
Malawi improved as the competition went on and saved their best performance for last as they defeated Fiji 78-46. An impressive first quarter display set the tone for the Queens, as they led 21-8 after the first fifteen. Mwai Kumwenda was on fire again, rarely missing when given the opportunity to score.
Fiji played better in the second quarter and was more of a threat in the goal circle. Despite the Pearls best efforts they still trailed by nineteen at the interval, 40-21.
After the break, Malawi kept increasing their lead, with some slick play in the final third. Ultimately, Malawi’s lead was never threatened in the second half and they would take the third placed finish.
Both sides will take plenty of positives going into the Commonwealth Games. Malawi improved with every game and Mwai Kumwenda was scoring for fun. Fiji showed promising glimpses of their new crop of players with the likes of Laisani Waqa and Alisi Nagiri catching the eye.
Shooting – Malawi 78/88 (89%) – Fiji 46/66 (77%)
Starting line ups –
Malawi – (GS) M.Kumwenda, (GA) S.Simtowe, (WA) B.Kumwenda, (C) T.Lwazi, (WD) J.Kachilika, (GD) T.Vinkhumbo, (GK) L.Ngwira
Fiji – (GS) A.Rusivakula, (GA) A.Paul, (WA) N.Cirikisuva, (C) A.Waqanibete, (WD) L.Rokoura, (GD) A.Naqiri, (GK) E.Kahatoka
Player of the Match – Mwai Kumwenda
Jamaica 59 – 53 New Zealand
Jamaica defeated New Zealand in the round robin to secure their first victory over the Silver Ferns since 2009. The Sunshine Girls have now recorded back to back wins against New Zealand for the first time ever.
It was Jamaica who got the first points on the board, through Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, who caused the Silver Ferns defense a lot of problems in the round robin game. The Silver Ferns were getting themselves into scoring positions but weren’t as clinical as the Jamaicans, which ultimately was the difference maker. New Zealand missed six shots at goal in the first quarter and trailed 13-9 at quarter time.
Vice captain, Maria Folau, came on for the Silver Ferns in the second quarter and immediately linked up some good combinations with Grace Kara. Jamaica extended their lead however, and would would lead 28-23 at half time.
After the break, Selby-Rickit came on for the Silver Ferns in attempt to cut the deficit. Jamaica couldn’t stop scoring however, and converted nearly every opportunity they had. They would lead by five going into the final phase of the game.
In the round robin game, Jamaica produced an excellent final quarter to see out the game. They did the same this time and maintained their lead to remain unbeaten and to clinch the Taini Jamison Trophy, becoming the first side to win the trophy other than New Zealand.
Despite losing twice, the Silver Ferns tried multiple combinations on court throughout the competition which will enhance their preparations for the Commonwealth Games. As for Jamaica, they will have a world of confidence heading to the Gold Coast after making quite the statement in Auckland.
Jamaica open the tournament against Fiji on April 5th.
Shooting – Jamaica 59/68 (87%) – New Zealand 53/67 (79%)
Starting line ups –
Jamaica – (GS) J.Fowler-Reid, (GA) S.Beckford, (WA) K.Williams, (C) P.Thompson, (WD) V.Williams, (GD) S.Facey, (GK) S.Sterling
New Zealand – (GS) A.Ekenasio, (GA) B.Mes, (WA) G.Kara, (C) S.Francois, (WD) S.Sinclair, (GD) K.Grant, (GK) K.Jury
Player of the Match – Paula Thompson
|March 21st (18.10pm)||83||38|
|March 21st (20.10pm)||75||42|
|March 22nd (18.10pm)||52||67|
|March 22nd (20.10pm)||51||59|
|March 23rd (18.10pm)||66||55|
|March 23rd (20.10pm)||88||27|
|3rd/4th PLAYOFF March 24th (14.10pm)||78||46|
|FINAL March 24th (16.10pm)||59||53|