Wed | Oct 23, 2019

Sunshine Girls in rankings battle - J’cans set to face England, New Zealand and South Africa with number-2 ranking under threat

Published:Friday | August 2, 2019 | 12:32 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Sunshine Girls captain Jhaniele Fowler (right) outstretches England Roses goal keeper Geva Mentor to claim the ball, before scoring a goal during their Group G Vitality Netball World Cup match at the M
Sunshine Girls captain Jhaniele Fowler (right) outstretches England Roses goal keeper Geva Mentor to claim the ball, before scoring a goal during their Group G Vitality Netball World Cup match at the M

Following their dis-appointing fifth-place finish at last month’s Netball World Cup (NWC), the Sunshine Girls will face another tough test when they tackle world champions New Zealand, along with South Africa and hosts England, in a Quad Series in January.

The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked number two in the world, must perform well against these teams, which are all rated below them in order to maintain their current ranking.

England are currently ranked third in the world, one spot ahead of New Zealand, with South Africa commanding fifth place. The matches will be played from January 19-26 in London, England.

Tricia Robinson, first vice-president of Netball Jamaica (NJ), told The Gleaner that the Sunshine Girls are disappointed with their performance at the NWC and are determined to put on a good showing at the series as they seek to maintain their rank.

“Certainly a good finish will help us to maintain our number-two ranking in the world, and so the girls are looking forward to this series,” said Robinson.

“Every competition that we enter is important, and, certainly, coming off finishing fifth in the Netball World Cup, we are expecting the lessons learnt from it and we are expecting the team to move forward,” she said.

Robinson underlined that the Sunshine Girls would be aiming to prove to everyone that their recent performance at the NWC was just a fluke and that they are a much better team than their finish suggests.

“Most certainly, we are better than fifth, but like everybody else, we have our moments,” said Robinson. “It is unfortunate that our moment took place at the World Championships, but every team, at some point in time, has their mettle tested,” she said.

“We were tested at the World Championships, and I know that the girls are hungry and they really want to put the nation back in the frame of mind where they were expected to finish at the World Championships,” she added.

“Everyone was disappointed, and I am sure the girls are looking to change those things in this series, and so I am confident that we are going to do extremely well,” Robinson noted.