Champions: Australia (10th Title)
Runners Up: New Zealand
Dates: July 3-10, 2011
Venue: National Indoor Stadium (Indoors)
Host City/country: Singapore
Number of Teams: 16
Matches Played: 48
Number of Goals Scored: 5,012
MVP (Most Valuable Player): Erin Burger (South Africa)
Australia win tenth title in extra time
The Netball World Cup returned to Singapore in 2011, 28 years since the event was last held in the country. Singapore became the fifth country to host the event more than once, with the others being Australia (67, 91 & 15), England (63 & 95), Jamaica (71 & 03) and New Zealand (75, 99 & 07).
In the 28 years that had passed, the game had changed significantly. For instance, the last World Cup in Singapore in 1983, was held outside in scorching hot temperatures. The players had now become accustomed to the cooler indoor facilities, which helped raise their game.
In the latter stages of a Netball World Cup, games can be determined by the finest of margins, whether it is a slight mistake or a bit of brilliance, those moments can determine the outcome of a match and the outcome of the competition.
When it came down to the final between Australia and New Zealand, it was the finest of margins that separated the two netball giants. Australian coach, Norma Plummer, had been plotting ways to stop New Zealand’s dangerous shooter, Maria Folau (nee Tutaia) especially as she ran the show when the sides met in the Commonwealth Games final a year previous.
“I sat and watched all of the ANZ Championship games and worked out when Maria missed. It was very subtle but when the defenders were on the side on her shooting arm, she slightly moved her hand and the ball went around the back of the ring and out. In a game like the 2011 final you only need four or five of those shots to happen and to capitalise on those misses.” reflects Norma.
Norma’s pre-match studying payed off as Maria went from shooting 82% in the Commonwealth Games final, to shooting 68% in the 2011 final.
“It’s the one per-centers that you have to look for – it’s those things to get you across the line.” – Norma Plummer
At full time, nothing could separate the two sides as the scores read 46 all. It was the first ever final that went into extra time in which both sides would match each other goal for goal. The scores were dead level at 52 all in the midway point of extra time.
The tension and drama was off the charts, with one moment defining moment waiting to happen. Enter Caitlin Bassett, who shot the winning goal in the last second of extra time, to give Australia a 58-57 victory and a tenth World title.
The 2011 championships marked the final time we would see Irene van Dyk at the event. Irene, an influential figure in international netball, played at five different Netball World Cups. She represented South Africa in 1999 and then New Zealand in 03, 07 and 2011. Irene won the championship in Kingston in 2003.
Also bowing out of the championship was Jamaica’s Nadine Bryan and Althea Byfield, who both played at four Netball World Cups (99, 03, 07 and 2011). Their four appearances at the event mirrored that of their coach Oberon Pitterson, who also played in four World Cups (91, 95, 99 and 2003).
England’s Sonia Mkoloma and Karen Atkinson were also playing in their fourth World Cup and were being coached by 1983 world champion Sue Hawkins. Sue was a part of the Australian squad who won the title in 1983 (also held in Singapore) and guided England to a third placed finish.
The event marked the first, and only time, that Scotland have not been present at the tournament. Only four nations have been present at every tournament; Australia, England, New Zealand and Jamaica.
1st – Australia
2nd – New Zealand
3rd – England
4th – Jamaica
5th – South Africa
6th – Malawi
7th – Trinidad & Tobago
8th – Northern Ireland
9th – Wales
10th – Fiji
11th – Barbados
12th – Samoa
13th – Botswana
14th – Sri Lanka
15th – Singapore
16th – Malaysia