Player Reaction: Vitality Roses 66-47 Jamaica

The Vitality Roses made it two from two against Jamaica in the Vitality Roses Reunited Series on Saturday evening.

Jess Thirlby’s side started strongly and never looked back with all 12 of the game day squad getting on court.

With the final game of the series and another opportunity to learn, develop and grow to come, Player of the Match Natalie Haythornthwaite and Eleanor Cardwell share their thoughts.

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Natalie Haythornthwaite

“I think our response from test one to test two was a huge performance and Jess spoke a lot about wanting us to improve across the week and from game to game and I think we showed that tonight.

“We didn’t have the best start in test one so to come out tonight and start the game like that we really set the tone for the rest of the game and how we want to play netball and represent the Vitality Roses.

“It was great to be a part of and make our mark on the test series. There’s another game tomorrow so we’ll rest up tonight and come out strong.

“I think for us we just tried to put the focus on us for test two. We know how amazing they are at contesting ball and sending long ball into Jhaniele [Fowler] and how quickly they can score so I think for us it was about not focusing too much on them and focusing our game plan on ourselves and how we could best execute and break down the Jamaican style.

“I definitely think it’s important to recognise the win tonight and how far we’ve come, but for us it’s about how we can continue to build so into tomorrow’s game and then building into 2022 and beyond.

“Obviously, there’s a major competition coming up next year and the year after so we want to play the best netball for the Vitality Roses so it’s about how we can keep building and putting out strong performance from game to game.

“Individually, I think for me it’s just my consistency and work rate through the game so making sure I’m always an option. Defensively that’s been a real focus for me so how I can win a bit more ball and do my job in defence. That’s how I want to build and keep testing myself against the best in the world.”

Eleanor Cardwell

“It was a fantastic start by us, and it was really something we wanted to focus on going into this game. I think we really brought it to the Jamaicans today and it was really nice to see everyone get on court.

“It was really nice to get the start at shooter and build the combination with Jo [Harten] and obviously Nat [Haythornthwaite] in front. It was just a great start; we’d been building all week in training and we’re now ready to hit it hard again tomorrow.

“I think we needed to go out hard and be clinical with our ball. We knew we needed to play simple netball and get the Jamaicans on the back foot – when they’re on the back foot, that’s when we can really push forward and get more and more goals in and make them feel less confident about themselves. It’s something we’re going to try and achieve again tomorrow.”

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