Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games: Team England vs. Australia reaction

Team England were beaten 51-60 by Australia in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games semi-final.

The defending champions lost out to the world number one side and will now face New Zealand in the bronze medal match on Sunday 7 August.

After the game, we spoke to Natalie Metcalf, Jo Harten and Helen Housby…

Natalie Metcalf on…

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…Australia’s performance

“I think they got ahead too early too soon, and we couldn’t quite close that gap. We gave ourselves a little bit too much work to do and we didn’t look after our turn on the ball enough probably in the attack end. Credit to those guys – I thought they came out strong and they held onto that lead.”

…the bronze medal match

“I think for us it’s really important to be able to regroup, pull together really strong now and come out all guns blazing for tomorrow. We look at what went wrong today and try and correct that for tomorrow’s game – there’s still everything to play for.

“I think it’s really important to acknowledge the loss and look at where we can improve for tomorrow’s game, but I think the main thing now is about pulling together. This group are so close on and off the court, so I think it’s about getting us all together pulling together strongly.”

…confidence from the previous win against New Zealand

“I think we’ve got to look at that game and see what we did right and try and reinforce that. There’s still so much to play for, to be able to play in front of this crowd today was an absolute honour and a privilege.

“To put on the red dress in any occasion is a massive honour and to be able to do it at a Commonwealth Games is huge so for us there’s still so much to play for and it’s about going out there tomorrow and trying to get that medal.”

Jo Harten on…

…the game against Australia

“There was a sluggish start by us. We probably didn’t penetrate their defence early enough and they were able to get quick goals on the board.

“We’ve been used to holding up opposition attackers throughout this tournament, but we didn’t have as much success with that today.

“The pressure of a home crowd didn’t affect us. We were nervous going in, but so were they – it’s a big occasion but we’re used to big occasions.”

…the bronze medal match

“A few of us have been around long enough, and been in these situations (having to bounce back after a semi-final defeat) for 15, 20 years, so in that sense I feel we are experienced in picking ourselves back up.

“We’ll do our homework on New Zealand – we beat them the other day, but we want [to produce] a better performance tomorrow.”

Helen Housby on…

…the game against Australia

“We got beaten by the better team today. Australia showed up smarter than we did – we had them in periods of the game but we didn’t do it consistently enough.

“We’re obviously disappointed but we were beaten by the better team so good luck to Australia in the final.”

…playing in front of a home crowd:

“That was honestly one of the best crowds I think I’ve ever played in front of. That was honestly electric, even when we were walking out, I love the energy and I love the passion.

“I’m sorry we couldn’t do more for them today, but they were incredible.”

…preparing for the bronze medal match:

“We’re going to do our homework on New Zealand and come out strong tomorrow.

“We can’t just rely on one win against them – we know they’re going to change what they did and come out and have a better performance against them. We can look at old footage but we know they’re going to be better tomorrow.

“It’s hard and you don’t want to accept it but you have to move on quickly and that’s the nature of a tournament sport like this but we’re going to be ready to go tomorrow and there’s still a medal to play for.

“A lot of these girls are new into the squad and have never had a single medal before, so its really exciting to still have a chance and to put ourselves into a semi-final and to go for a bronze medal, it’s still an exciting thing. All to play for!”

If you’re new to our sport and want to have a go yourself, we have programmes for everyone aged 5 to 95 from Bee Netball for children, to Back to Netball for those returning, to Walking Netball, a slower version of the game we love. Through the netball finder on our homepage, simply select play and enter your postcode and you’ll find a variety of sessions in your area.

There’s more live netball coming your way in England this October – book tickets now.

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