GC2018: Preliminary Rounds Conclude

The preliminary rounds came to a conclusion today, meaning that we now know the line up for the semi finals and classification matches.

The day started with the top two from Pool B; England and New Zealand. England had already booked their place into the semis courtesy of their four previous wins in the competition, while the Silver Ferns needed to avoid defeat to cement their place in the last four.

The Roses held a slender two goal advantage going into half time, following a stale mate in the first quarter. They continued to build on their lead in the second half and would eventually win 54-45 – their biggest winning margin over the Silver Ferns.

England tops Pool B with five wins from five. The defeat for New Zealand meant the door was open for Uganda and Malawi. Both sides needed to win their respective games by some margin to have any chance in leapfrogging the Ferns into second place.

Uganda were in the better position as their goal difference was much healthier than Malawi’s, however, their 20 point victory over Scotland was not enough to overtake New Zealand.

This meant that Malawi needed to beat Wales by an unlikely 70+ scoreline. The Queens got the win over Wales 68-53,  which meant they would finish 4th in Pool B and New Zealand were safely through to the last four.

In Pool A, South Africa and Barbados opened proceedings. The Proteas scored 92 passed Fiji yesterday thanks to a clinical shooting display by Sigrid Burger. She was on form again today against the Bajan Gems and contributed to a 85-25 win. South Africa cement their third place finish in Pool A that sets up an intriguing tie with Uganda in tomorrows fifth place playoff.

Northern Ireland finished the preliminary rounds with back to back wins, the second coming today against Fiji. Their 73-46 win sees them claim 4th place in Pool B which sets up the seventh place playoff with Malawi tomorrow.

The preliminary rounds concluded with two teams with 100% winning records. Australia and Jamaica, the competitions two highest scorers, battled it out to determine who would be topping Pool A.

The Diamonds raced out the blocks and led 21-14 after the first quarter. Following a fifteen all stalemate in the second quarter, Australia moved up a gear in the second half and continued to increase their lead. Defensive pair Jo Weston and Courtney Bruce worked hard to limit the chances that fell to the dangerous Jhaniele Fowler-Reid.

Australia saw out the victory, 72-51, and top Pool A with a 100% winning record. As a result, they will play New Zealand in the semi finals on Saturday. This now means for the first time in Commonwealth Games history, either Australia or New Zealand will not be in the final of the netball competition. Every Commonwealth Games final has featured these two sides, however, this time England or Jamaica will be playing for the gold medal.

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Final Pool A Standings

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Final Pool B Standings

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