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WORLD CUP: Dancing Ugandans to face champs New Zealand

The She Cranes at the recent Fast5 Netball series where they beat Australia and finished 5th out of 6 on their debut. COURTESY PHOTO

🔴 Netball World Cup 2023 DRAW

💠 POOL D
✳ New Zealand
✳ Uganda
✳ Trinidad & Tobago
✳ Singapore

💠 TEAMS
Oceania: Tonga and Fiji
Africa: South Africa, Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe
Asia: Sri Lanka, Singapore
Europe: Scotland, Wales
Americas: Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados

Cape Town, South Africa | THE INDEPENDENT, netball.sport & central.rookieme.com | Uganda’s She Cranes have been drawn in the same group as world champions New Zealand in the 2023 Netball World Cup. The Netball World Cup 2023 will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from the 28th July to the 6th August at the International Convention Center.

The Ugandans, fresh from putting up a stellar performance in the Fast Five World Series on their debut, were put in a group with the  Silver Ferns of New Zealand, Trinidad & Tobago, and Singapore at draws held last night in Cape Town. At the Fast Five series in New Zealand last month, the Ugandans not only caused a sensation by beating The Diamonds of Australia, but showed off some fine dancing moves at the end of their games.

Pool D  will still have world number two New Zealand as the clear standouts, with Uganda and Trinidad & Tobago fighting it out for second. Singapore ranked at 34th in the world is 18 spots lower than Fiji as the true underdog of the tournament.

There will be 16 countries competing at the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town. The teams are South Africa, Australia, Barbados, England, Fiji, Jamaica, Malawi, New Zealand, Scotland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tonga,Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda, Wales, Zimbabwe

Though all 16 nations are given a fighting chance, realistically only two – Australia and New Zealand – have claimed a Netball World Cup in the past 40 years. Aside from Trinidad & Tobago’s golden era of 1979, the remaining 16 World Cups have gone to the Constellation Cup opponents. Australia has 11 trophies and New Zealand five, with the pair making up 28 of the 32 World Cup Final spots.

✳  MATCH reports of two Ugandan games at the FAST FIVE SERIES last month

Uganda 32 – 30 Australia

Australia came into their 4th match of the tournament unbeaten, and they looked confident at the start of this match with their defensive unit making it challenging for Uganda to create chances at goal. However, Uganda were also putting Australia under immense pressure which led to a goal scoring first quarter with the score Australia 6 – 2 Uganda.

Uganda came out firing at the start of the second quarter and they had the support of all fans within the Christchurch Arena with the score at the start of the powerplay Uganda 7 – 11 Australia, Australia then threatened to break away, however a 6 point goal by Uganda meant the score at half time was Uganda 13 – 15 Australia.

There was nothing to separate the sides at the start of the second half with both teams converting 1 point shots. At the start of the powerplay, Australia had the lead by just 1 goal, but Uganda had the better powerplay as they claimed a 22 – 21 lead at the final break.

Sophie Dwyer gave Australia a slender advantage at the start of the final 6 minutes with a 2 point shot, however Nassanga replied immediately for Uganda with a 2 point shot herself, but it was Australia that had a 2 point lead at the start of the powerplay. Uganda raced into the lead with an amazing 4 point shot by Cholhok and they held on to claim an outstanding 2 goal victory. Final score Uganda 32 – 30 Australia.

New Zealand 45 Uganda 32

The second match of the day saw the reigning champions, New Zealand, take on Uganda. The match started frantically with both teams struggling to find the net, however Uganda then began to find their flow with Cholhok netting a 2 point goal in the powerplay, but Heffermen responded immediately with a 3 point goal to make the score at the break New Zealand 6 – 8 Uganda.

The start of the second quarter saw Cholhok score 2 consecutive 2 point goals as her side raced into a 14 – 9 lead. But it was New Zealand’s turn to start sinking the long bombs as they quickly claimed the lead, with the score at half-time 18 – 14.

Both sides seemed to be growing in confidence and were continuously looking to shoot either 2 or 3 point goals. It was a profitable powerplay for New Zealand as their goal shooter, Aliyah Dunn, scored two 3 point goals in a row to give her side a 38 – 25 lead at the break.

New Zealand grew in confidence as the match went on with Aliyah Dunn a stand-out performer shooting at 81% including several 2 and 3 point goals. Full time score New Zealand 45 – 32 Uganda.

*****

FINAL placings at the last World Cup (2019) in Liverpool, England

Place Country
Gold  New Zealand
Silver  Australia
Bronze  England
4  South Africa
5  Jamaica
6  Malawi
7  Uganda
8  Zimbabwe
9  Trinidad and Tobago
10  Northern Ireland
11  Scotland
12  Barbados
13  Samoa
14  Fiji
15  Sri Lanka
16  Singapore

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