England Netball

England will take on Jamaica in a blockbuster match in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games on Saturday morning (6am UK time).

The history between third and fourth in the world is speckled with emotional wins and losses for both sides.

Memorably, England secured a bronze medal at the 2015 Netball World Cup when they defeated Jamaica.

However many will be thinking back to the 2014 Commonwealth Games semi-final, where the Roses left Glasgow without a medal after a shock loss to the Sunshine Girls.

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This time round, things are different says shooting sensation Helen Housby: ‘That was a completely different game and different scenario to this one.

‘I think we have a different mentality and we’re feeling good after the preliminary games – we’re going into it fully prepared.

‘We’ve looked at the video and we’ve talked as a group about what to implement in our game plan and that’s what we’re going to do.

‘Jamaica are obviously a tough side and they have some big targets in the circle so it’s obviously going to be about shutting that down, being confident, playing our own game and letting things go.

‘We play our best netball when we’re smiling and connecting with each other so we’re going to have fun on court.’

England’s most capped player, Jade Clarke say’s the Roses are ready to embrace the challenge: ‘It’s going to be a huge battle and there’s a huge history between England and Jamaica – it’s going to be tight.

‘We’re really excited to have one of those pressure games where we see who stands up, and we do what we can do.

‘We’re feeling really prepared. We’ve watched a lot of video on them and done all the training – we’re ready and it’s just about going out there and seeing who performs on the day. We’re feeling confident.

‘We all watched the game against Australia, and Jamaica are playing really well. They’ve got the tall timber in the shooting circle with the options of Fowler and Romelda so yeah they’re looking strong. We’ve done our homework.’

The Roses have already made their mark on the competition when they beat the Silver Ferns for the first time at a Commonwealth Games, but Helen Housby has said it’s not enough: ‘If that’s how it ended none of us would be happy.

‘We know the job’s not done – it was a good victory but that’s all it was, it was just one game and we’ve got to back it up now.

‘If we don’t back it up then it wasn’t for any purpose. It was nice to do that and it’s great to be heading into a really great direction with England Netball with what we’re producing but we know the jobs not over and we want a lot more.’

Mid-courter, Beth Cobden who is playing at her first Commonwealth Games talked about the belief in the team: ‘Everyone’s feeling good – there’s a good vibe in the camp.

‘Everyone believes we can do it and we’ve got a good game plan in place so we’re just raring to go and get the job done tomorrow.’

England finished top of their group after winning all five preliminary matches, however Jamaica lost their final game of the opening rounds to the Australian Diamonds.

England take on Jamaica on Saturday at 6am (BST).

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