Thu | Jan 21, 2021

Confident Sunshine Girls face NZ test

Published:Wednesday | January 22, 2020 | 12:26 AM

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls will be seeking their second consecutive victory in their four-nations Vitality Netball Nations Cup, when they take on world champions New New Zealand in Birmingham today, starting at 12:30 p.m.

Today’s clash is a top-of-the-table encounter between the two sides, and victory for either team will guarantee them a spot in Sunday’s final.

Hosts England will oppose South Africa in the other contest.

The Sunshine Girls will enter today’s encounter full of confidence, having defeated South Africa 59-54 in Nottingham, England, on Sunday in their opening match.

However, today’s assignment is expected to be a very close one, as the New Zealanders recorded an easy 64-48 win over England in their opening match on Sunday to show their strength coming into the series.

Despite the expected difficulties that await them, Jamaica’s head coach, Connie Francis, said the Jamaicans are extremely confident and are looking forward to today’s match.

“They are feeling very confident although we are aware that we are playing against the world champions and an in-form team,” said Francis. “We just want to come out aggressively and trusting each other as we build on being a better team.”

The veteran coach added that the Jamaicans will have to ensure that they maintain their descipline throughout all four quarters in order to be victorious.

“We have to take care of each position and work hard, because we know that our shooters are a force to reckon with, so our opponents are also aware of that and will want to put their midcourt under pressure,” Francis said.

“We need to take better care of our centre passes while trying to feed the ball to shooters and if we do and force some turnovers on New Zealand, then we should be fine,” she said.

The Sunshine Girls will once again be led by captain and goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler along with goal attack Shanice Beckford, centre Nicole Dixon and defender Shamera Sterling.

Robert Bailey