Gems Fall
30 July 2023
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THE Zimbabwe senior netball team, the Gems kicked off their 2023 Netball World Cup campaign on a poor note after an 86-30 defeat to heavyweights Australia in their opening match at the Cape Town Convention Centre in South Africa this Friday.

After a great opening quarter in which the Gems matched the mighty Australians, the team sadly failed to keep up for the rest of the match as the world’s highest-ranked nation showed their class.

Buoyed by a vociferous crowd in South Africa, the Gems came out of the blocks firing and took the game to their more fancied opponents as they matched their intensity in the first quarter despite Australia taking a 20-11 lead.

Shocked by the determination of the Gems, Australia made a few tactical changes that worked well in their favour, and they started creating some breathing light between the two teams.

In the second quarter, Zimbabwe only added eight points as the two teams went for halftime with Australia leading 41-18.

The third and fourth quarters were more of the same and even the changes made by the Gems technical department failed to change the flow of the game.

It was not exactly what the Gems were hoping for, but the coach is taking some positives from the game.

“We need to be more consistent on the offensive side and be more clinical in defence, after the match today the girls are in a positive mood, we have seen that we can hold them, but we did that in phases,” said Gems assistant coach, Tatenda Shinya.

Zimbabwe take on Fiji in their second Pool A match this Saturday looking for nothing short of victory to keep their tournament alive.

Meanwhile, in the other Pool A match, Tonga edged Fiji 56-51.

The top three teams from each of the four Pools will progress to the next round.