Don’t blame Jamaica’s history-making win over Australia at the Commonwealth Games on the Super Netball competition.
The 57-55 win – Australia’s first ever in the Pool stage – may have been called “upset of the Games”, but I don’t think it was such a shock.
I think there was a lot of talk coming into this Games about the form of the Jamaicans, and in the past they have been a team that’s been inconsistent with their performances.
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They can be the team that will probably beat you one game and then the next you play them, and you’ll beat them by 40 goals.
But I think we’ve seen a real shift – particularly with more of their players in our domestic competition Super Netball that there’s this air of real growth in them over the last 12 months.
I think it has certainly been time for them to step up and put out a good game, which they were able to do against the Diamonds on Thursday night.
Yes six of the Sunshine Girls’ 12 player squad take part in our domestic competition.
There’s no doubt our competition is touted the best in the world, and it’s obviously due to players like Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler and Shamera Sterling.
But for me, I don’t like that comment that comes with the issues around the imports in Super Netball and what that’s doing for our international players.
I think: ‘Well hang on, if other players are able to develop and become better, then surely our Australian players should be doing the exact same thing because they are then playing against the best as well’.
I think it’s fantastic for world netball, not just our domestic competition, the strength of players taking the court and seeing how their performances really developing.
What we saw from the Sunshine Girls on Thursday night still wasn’t a four-quarter performance.
In the last quarter, Jamaica showed that real discipline of really working the ball to the circle edge to feed Jhaniele Fowler.
And once the ball hits the circle edge, it is so hard to stop it – it’s a big ask, not just for Australian goal keeper Courtney Bruce but for any defender.
Her size, the way she positions and she’s just so incredibly strong. She knows how to use that body
They really treasured the ball and Australia couldn’t get it back.
But it’s the discipline for Jamaica to do that for the four quarters that could be the difference for their medal chances – they can be very undisciplined or inconsistent.