Game Two Preview – England vs Malawi

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Geva Mentor of England battles for the ball with Joyce Mvula of Malawi during Group B match between England and Malawi on day two of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at NEC Arena on July 30, 2022 on the Birmingham, England. (Photo by Morgan Harlow/Getty Images)

The Vitality Roses continue their Netball World Cup campaign today in Cape Town, taking on Malawi live on Sky Sports Arena and Mix. 

After a convincing win in their opening game yesterday against Barbados, the Vitality Roses are now looking to go two from two in the opening stage of the competition. Facing the Malawi Queens, who are currently ranked sixth in the world and known for their patience with ball in hand, the Roses are expecting a competitive match in their second outing in Cape Town.   

The last time the Vitality Roses faced Malawi was during the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The match saw England hold a strong lead across all four quarters, finishing the match 66-41. Malawi went on to finish sixth in the competition, after beating Wales 62-56 in the classification match, whilst England finished fourth after a tough bronze medal battle against New Zealand (51-60). 

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Ones to watch: 

With all 12 players getting on court against Barbados, including five World Cup debutants, this game provides a fantastic opportunity for the Roses to continue their winning streak and display some thrilling elite netball action for their fans.   

After a triumphant first season overseas for Eleanor Cardwell, taking the Suncorp Super Netball League (SSN) by storm with the Adelaide Thunderbirds – winning the league and taking the Grand Final Player of the Match medal – the skilled shooter will hope to bring the same strength and confidence to her Netball World Cup debut. 

However, we will have quite the battle on our hands in the shooting circle between Cardwell and Strathclyde Sirens’ Towera Vinkhumbo. The experienced goal keeper had a stand-out 2023 season in the UK’s Netball Super League (NSL), picking up the top spot for both intercepts and turnovers. Her sheer athleticism will prove a challenge for the Roses.  

In the Roses’ defensive end, six-time Netball World Cup athlete Geva Mentor will match Vinkhumbo’s experience and leadership. Mentor, who has recently announced her return to the NSL with Leeds Rhinos after 15 years living in Australia and playing in the ANZ Championship and SSN, will be hoping to make her mark on the competition before starting her domestic campaign in the UK.  

Joyce Mvula will also provide an exciting match up against Geva in the Roses’ defensive circle. Mvula is a familiar face to the UK audience, following six seasons with Manchester Thunder before making her move overseas to join Central Pulse in New Zealand’s ANZ last season. 

Unfortunately, Malawi’s captain Caroline Mtukule has been ruled out of the World Cup due to an ACL injury. The Team Bath midcourter has been a key figure in the Malawi team, having started her netball career in 2004. 

Where to watch: 

Tune into the Vitality Roses’ second match of the tournament live on Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports Arena with the first centre pass at 5pm (UK time). 

You can also listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5Live. 

After this game, the Vitality Roses will conclude Preliminaries Stage One on Sunday against Home Nation rivals, Scotland. 

Download our match schedule so you don’t miss a game and grab our watch-along wall planner so you can follow each team’s progress. 

Keep up to date with what’s happening inside the England camp by following us on our socials @EnglandNetball. 

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