The past week has been jam-packed with a lot of netball! Five games in six days has seen many thrills and spills and some sore bodies at the end of it all. We kicked off our 2015 World Cup Campaign with our first match against the unorthodox team from Trinidad and Tobago. Not quite knowing what to expect, their athleticism and flair out on court was a good test for our 12 athletes. With a tight turn around we found ourselves out on court again against a similar style of Caribbean netball in the girls from Barbados – these were two really great matches to fire us up for our big clash against our arch rivals the Silver Ferns on Day three.
Nothing can quite prepare you for the moment you walk out in front of your home crowd – the excitement and emotion totally overcomes you and you instantly feel as though you have grown a couple of inches taller with all of the amazing support! Sunday was no exception as we walked out in front of a world record-breaking crowd of close to 17,000 people at Allphones Arena. Like any Kiwi versus Aussie contest there is always set to be an element of pure excitement and entertainment. The Silver Ferns certainly came out to play and put out an exceptionally strong performance to win the match by five goals.
However with a short turn around it was time to do some reviewing of what went wrong and buckle up for another intense game against England. The girls put out a terrific performance against the English girls snatching a 10-goal victory to put our campaign back on track. A match against the number five ranked team of South Africa was another solid hit-out for the Diamonds and the games are allowing combinations to settle and perform.
Amongst all of the netball there has been a lot of time devoted to physio, massage and recovery to keep our bodies in the best condition possible. There has also been a great deal of media and appearances required of the girls as we play in our home country. All of these demands are managed exceptionally well by the team and at the end of the day we understand that we must take care of business out on court and let our actions do the talking.
It was absolutely fantastic to see the Wallabies get up over the All Blacks last Saturday night. Being in Homebush we were well and truly amidst all of the excitement and we have full intentions of making this nation equally as proud with our efforts out on court during this business end of the tournament.