Vitality Roses celebrating at the Vitality Netball World Cup

The Vitality Roses succumbed to a devastating 45-47 defeat on Saturday night in their Vitality Netball World Cup semi-final, falling short to southern hemisphere powerhouses, New Zealand.

Keeping the 8,000 strong home crowd’s hearts in their throats for much of the match, England fought tooth and nail for the entire 60 minutes keeping the scoreline within two, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to carry them through to the gold medal match against rivals Australia.

An emotional Head Coach, Tracey Neville, commented: “It was a do or die match, the pressure was on the team and I think we didn’t start off well enough.

“I think some of our basic errors were things we hadn’t done through this tournament and we just didn’t have enough legs at the end to get back into the game.

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“We only lost by two goals but this is how brutal this tournament is that when you lose once you’re out.”

Midway through the game, Neville made changes to the mid-court line-up, bringing Nat Haythornthwaite into the WA position in place of Chelsea Pitman.

“We were struggling to get ball down into the goal third, we were running around and not taking any ball to anybody so bringing Nat H on and putting Jo to GA created that space and created a bit of movement in the circle with Housby down at GS.

“However, you come out of a quarter and get the game back in your hands and obviously lead by three, you come out in the next quarter and expect to be able to chug away at that scoreline and we just didn’t have the legs at the end to do that unfortunately.”

Replaying her motion to take to court, Nat explained the decision: “The message off the bench was to go and get the ball, give and go, take the ball to the edge, and just try to open up the game a bit.

“I think the girls did a great job today but we just got pipped to the post so I’m really gutted right now.”

Despite trailing by two for much of the game, veteran goal shooter, Jo Harten spoke of her inability to see the game as lost: “I absolutely thought we were going to win it.

“I never thought we were going to lose right until the last 15 seconds, when I thought that is wasn’t our day.

“We gave it absolutely everything we had. We’re obviously disappointed but we have to pick ourselves up for tomorrow.”

Despite taking to the court in front of a vast contingent of home support, Neville was quick to credit the team’s mental strength throughout the match.

She said: “I don’t think emotion played a part, it’s been a tough tournament and I would like to say that everyone has contributed a great deal to this tournament.

“I think the girls gave it their all, I’m so proud of them. To lose to a world class team by two is not a disappointing result because anything can happen in a tournament and anything can happen in a game.

“We’ve got another game tomorrow and we’ve got to pick ourselves up and go again.”

Crediting opposition New Zealand on their victory, she said: “I think New Zealand’s shooting circle were so clinical, I think they only missed one shot all game.

“Their defensive end did a job, they’ve got a lot of presence and I don’t think we worked hard enough to cut the ball to circle, we were running around a lot.

“It is what it is but we move on.”

Vitality Roses captain Serena Guthrie was quick to assume her leadership role and credit the side for the position they have achieved so far.

She said: “I am hurting. It’s difficult to put it into words but, as a leader, I have to stay strong and I will stay strong.

“World Cups come and go, games come and go, but the world will keep spinning and we can’t just sit back wondering about ‘what ifs’.

“We’ve still got a game to play. As long as we go out tomorrow and put in a good performance then I’ll be proud of the girls. I’m proud of them today.”

The Vitality Roses will be back in action, with their eyes firmly on the bronze medal, on Sunday at 2.30pm when they will face South Africa. You can catch all the action by tuning into BBC Sport, Sky Netball or following @EnglandNetball on Twitter.

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