Sunshine Girls move up to number three in world rankings
Jamaica’s senior netball team, the Sunshine Girls moved up one spot, and are now ranked number three in the world, following the latest rankings, which were published by the International Federation of Netball Association on Thursday.
The latest rankings reflect matches played up until December 2 and now include the Sunshine Series, Canada vs Cayman Islands Test Series, Netball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers in Africa, the Americas and Asia, the autumn Quad Series (between Australia, England, South Africa and New Zealand), and the recent England vs Uganda Series.
The Sunshine Girls have a 172 rating, the same as number four England, while New Zealand are a point ahead on 173. Australia lead the standings with a 211 rating.
A major contributor to Jamaica’s rise would have been their strong performances this year and in particular a 3-0 defeat over England in the Sunshine Series, which also included Trinidad and Tobago.
Jamaica hammered England 55-43, 58-39, 58-43 in the Sunshine Series, after defeating their great Caribbean sporting rivals Trinidad and Tobago 61-40, 51-40 in the opening stanza of the tri-series.
The Jamaicans never stopped there, as they went on to claim the silver medal at the 2018 World Netball Series FastNet Tournament in Melbourne, Australia, where after narrowly losing the final - 34-33 – against New Zealand. Jamaica’s defender, Shameera Sterling, won the Most Valuable Player Award at the tournament.
It was the second consecutive World Fastnet Tournament finals loss for the Jamaicans, who went down 34-29 to England at the 2017 event. The Sunshine Girls also placed third at the 2017 Commonwealth Games and third at the World Fastnet Tournament in 2016.