Team England will face Scotland in a Home Nations clash for the Commonwealth Youth Games bronze medal at 21:15 (UK time) on Thursday 10 August – live on YouTube!
Sheonah Forbes’ side finished their Group B fixtures on a high with a resounding 47-8 victory over Botswana to make it two wins out of three in the opening stages.
The young Roses flew out the traps and were in control throughout, with Botswana failing to score a single point in the second quarter, as the result saw them finish the group as runners-up behind South Africa.
Speaking afterwards, Forbes acknowledged the emphasis placed on honing the team’s defensive structures: “We’ve been working on our defensive structures and actually over the last 24 hours, we’ve changed it a little bit, tweaked it knowing that we would possibly have Australia in the semi-final. We played them in the practice rounds so we know what they’re like so we have been tweaking and trying stuff in the game just now.
“As a group, we’ve had a prep camp so we’re really big on sticking to our processes and playing our England way. Sticking to the structures are really important so the girls know what our game plan is already for Australia and it’s just tweaking, like I said, little things to try and get us across the line later.”
Looking ahead to the next game in terms of work-ons for the team, Emily Pawlett said: “I feel like adapting early, making sure that we’re sticking to processes throughout the whole thing and we’re not dipping throughout the games. We’re doing a lot of work prior to the games to make sure we’re doing that and that we’re all on the same page.”
And Victoria Fisher added: “I think we’ve just got to think about sticking to our structures instead of thinking how the other team play. I mean we’re confident we all have a good connection with each other and just the trust in each other we have to go on court and hopefully win the next one.”
The stage was therefore set for a semi-final crunch match against Australia, who came into the fixture unbeaten in the group stages.
Australia had the upper hand after a strong 11-3 start in the opening quarter and kept pushing on to take the first three quarters, establishing a 37-17 advantage.
England battled hard, leaving everything on court, and took the final quarter but it wasn’t enough to swing the game back in their favour.
Reflecting afterwards Isabella Phillips said: “Personally, I felt it was always going to be a tough game. We gave it 100%, we took risks and we knew it was going to be a tough battle. We gave our all and it was just a great fight.”
Looking ahead to the semi-final, Eleanor Sadler commented: “I think we’re going to rest, recover, definitely spend a lot of time with the team, stay positive, stay connected, keep our heads up. The bronze medal match is going to be a good one and there’s still everything on the line.”
The bronze medal match against Scotland will take place at 21:15 (UK time) on Thursday 10 August and you can watch live on YouTube.