All three England Nets teams – Ladies, Mixed and U21 Women – were in action on the opening day of the Super 7’s category at the World Indoor Netball Championships in South Africa.
This followed the conclusion of the Super 6’s discipline where England Nets Ladies finished fourth, England Nets Mixed finished third, and England Nets U21 Women finished third.
Here is an explanation of the differences between the two disciplines and how the first day of Super 7’s (Thursday 8th August) panned out…
How 7’s differs to 6’s
1) Traditional netball rules apply – after a goal, the ball returns for a centre pass rather than starting from the defence.
2) The traditional replay rule is used rather than the one-touch rule used in 6’s.
3) No two-point shots.
4) No skins points (scoring the most goals in each quarter) awarded.
5) Players can’t touch the nets but can pass the ball off the nets – except the first pass off the centre pass.
AUS 63-32 ENG
Starting VII: Steph Marsden (GK) | Emily Geear (GD) | Becky Smith (WD) | Hannah Raine (C) | Victoria Lavender (WA) | Ziana Butt (GA) | Kalea Stagg (GS).
First England Nets Caps: Hannah Raine | Becky Smith.
England Nets U21 Women kicked off the first day of Super 7’s when they took on Australia early on Thursday morning. Despite the early start, Shelley Copland’s side started the game with plenty of energy thanks to a rest day on Wednesday and the debuts of Hannah Raine and Becky Smith.
As the game progressed, however, unforced errors started to creep into England’s game. This was exacerbated by a lack of turnovers and Australia’s impressive shooting accuracy. In contrast, shooting opportunities remained sparse for the English as the Australians made it difficult for them to get back into the game.
Player of the Match: Brooke Vivian.
England Nets U21 Women Head Coach Shelley Copland said: “Going from 6’s to 7’s is a challenge as it is a complete change of tactics. It was tough for us.”
RSA 47-38 ENG
Starting VII: Steph Marsden (GK) | Abby Miles (GD) | Lali Anderson (WD) | Vanessa Beal (C) | Victoria Lavender (WA) | Brooke Vivian (GA) | Ziana Butt (GS).
England Nets U21 Women were in action again a few hours later as they took on South Africa. A few early errors gave the hosts an early advantage and the English struggled to restrict their tall shooter. They managed to improve during incredibly tight second and third quarters but the damage had already been done.
Player of the Match: Kalea Stagg
England Nets U21 Women Head Coach Shelley Copland said: “If it wasn’t for our goal shooter, Kalea Stagg, our score would have been much lower. We also had a high turnover rate but we were not able to convert these into goals.”
NZL 65-41 ENG
Starting VII: Abby Miles (GK) | Lali Anderson (GD) | Becky Smith (WD) | Hannah Raine (C) | Vanessa Beal (WA) | Ziana Butt (GA) | Kalea Stagg (GS).
After two defeats, the prospect of facing New Zealand – winners of all four disciplines in the Super 6’s – should have been a daunting one for the U21 Women side. They, however, played some of their best netball of the tournament so far in varying spells throughout the game.
Copland’s team won the second quarter and narrowly lost the third in a very promising spell. New Zealand then rang the changes in the fourth quarter and began to dominate. England struggled to work the ball to the circle edge and could not keep up the intensity that they encouragingly displayed early on.
Player of the Match: Steph Marsden
England Nets U21 Women Head Coach Shelley Copland said: “The defenders really shone and made a huge difference to our game. Jasmine Burt also performed well and she was awarded player points by the umpires.”
AUS 66-36 ENG
Starting VII: Steph Marsden (GK) | Emily Geear (GD) | Lali Anderson (WD) | Hannah Raine (C) | Jasmine Burt (WA) | Ziana Butt (GA) | Kalea Stagg (GS).
The final match of the day for the U21 Women side proved to be a difficult one. The team struggled to get through a solid Australian defence and, at the other end, could not effectively stifle the lethal shooter. This allowed Australia to register a 20-goal lead by half-time and a 30-goal lead by the final whistle.
Player of the Match: Kalea Stagg
England Nets U21 Women Head Coach Shelley Copland said: “The team were really fatigued going into this match but they kept powering on which showed resilience and maturity when the score was out of reach.”
England Nets U21 Women finished the day fourth in the table with South Africa, Australia and New Zealand leading the way.
AUS 68-37 ENG
Starting VII: Stuart Nattrass (GK) | Jen Walsh (GD) | Janis John (WD) | Michael Clarke (C) | Laura Butler (WA) | Patrick Buckley (GA) | Charlotte Jordan (GS).
England Nets Mixed did well against the world champions in the first half, drawing the first quarter and going into half-time only three goals down. Australia went up a gear in the second half, though, showing their quality. Their strength and size were difficult to deal with, but England were able to take away some valuable lessons.
Player of the Match: Patrick Buckley
England Nets Mixed Head Coach Ryan Allan said: “We learnt a lot from this game and we will get another opportunity to play them. Australia are 7’s champions for a reason.”
RSA 50-31 ENG
Starting VII: Michael Clarke (GK) | Janis John (GD) | Jen Walsh (WD) | Simon Taylor (C) | Dayna Kosega (WA) | Geoff MacKay (GA) | Charlotte Jordan (GS).
Ryan Allan’s side started strong against the hosts. His starting VII stuck to the game plan and they won the first quarter by one goal. South Africa turned the game on its head in the second quarter and led by 12 goals at half-time. England improved during the third quarter and displayed real character in the fourth. South Africa’s quality was evident and they ran out as winners.
Player of the Match: Janis John
England Nets Mixed Head Coach Ryan Allan said: “We can definitely beat this team, we just need to stick to the game plan and manage legs to ensure our match fitness when we play them again.”
NZL 49-46 ENG
Starting VII: Stuart Nattrass (GK) | Janis John (GD) | Jen Walsh (WD) | Michael Clarke (C) | Laura Butler (WA) | Patrick Buckley (GA) | Kellie Hull (GS).
England Nets Mixed were denied their first-ever win in the Super 7’s by New Zealand. They did exceptionally well to get to the fourth quarter in front and displayed exceptional ability throughout. Allan’s team finished the first quarter four goals up and extended this advantage by half-time. In fact, during the fourth quarter, they had built an eight-goal lead.
New Zealand would not accept defeat and had all the momentum going into the last five minutes. Several key turnovers proved crucial for the Kiwis’ attempts to dissolve England’s lead, which they did with efficiency. Eventually, New Zealand ended the match three goals in front but the English side can take pride from their performance.
Player of the Match: Stuart Nattrass
England Nets Mixed Head Coach Ryan Allan said: “That’s the best England Nets Mixed have played in 7’s, we just need to pull it together for the full hour and remain clinical in the last few minutes to protect the win.”
AUS 79-36 ENG
Starting VII: Stuart Nattrass (GK) | Janis John (GD) | Katy Pell (WD) | Simon Taylor (C) | Laura Butler (WA) | Dayna Kosega (GA) | James Everley (GS).
In the fourth game of the day, fatigue was always going to be a factor. Rotating players in some new combinations highlighted some positives across the four quarters. However, Australia were too experienced and too strong.
Player of the Match: Laura Butler
England Nets Mixed Head Coach Ryan Allan said: “Playing Australia twice in one day was always going to be a tough ask. We showed in the first game that we are capable of taking something away from it and we need to build on that.”
England Nets Mixed finished the day fourth in the table with South Africa, Australia and New Zealand leading the way.
AUS 65-48 ENG
Starting VII: Alexandra Boughey (GK) | Kayleigh Jean (GD) | Kara Miller (WD) | Nicky Savill (C) | Natalie Miller (WA) | Francesca Wells (GA) | Louise Grainger (GS).
England Nets Ladies began the defence of their Super 7’s trophy against Australia. They started uncharacteristically slowly but the introduction of Francesca Wells at goal attack helped to steady the game for England. Pressure increased from the English, who fought to the final whistle, but the poor start proved to be their downfall.
Player of the Match: Kayleigh Jean
England Nets Ladies Head Coach Sharron Lewis-Burke: “It is nice to see the team working through different combinations.
“Lucy [Herdman] is taking control of the emotion and finishing strong. Florence [Edwards] had a huge impact on the game when she came on as goal keeper in the second half. Natasha [Khatib] created lots of opportunities in the second quarter with excellent movement. Kayleigh [Jean] put in an impressive effort and led the team defence.”
RSA 66-53 ENG
Starting VII: Florence Edwards (GK) | Kayleigh Jean (GD) | Caroline Buckland (WD) | Thea-Rosa Thompson (C) | Natasha Khatib (WA) | Francesca Wells (GA) | Lucy Herdman (GS).
Positives were plentiful in England Nets Ladies’ defeat to South Africa despite the result. The English defence worked hard to make valuable turnovers but the attack could not make them count. The injection of co-captain Natalie Miller in the second quarter improved her side’s proficiency in front of the net to the point where England drew the third quarter. The final 12 minutes proved to be frantic as the ball went from one end to the other. More turnovers were required to close the game and South Africa won the game.
Player of the Match: Caroline Buckland
England Nets Ladies Assistant Coach Faye Bateson said: “The girls had a really positive attitude at the end of the game and will take this forward. The key to this tournament has been about sticking to the task and maintaining their structure with increasing success.”
NZL 53-43 ENG
Starting VII: Caroline Buckland (GK) | Kayleigh Jean (GD) | Alexandra Boughey (WD) | Thea-Rose Thompson (C) | Natalie Miller (WA) | Natasha Khatib (GA) | Lucy Herdman (GS).
Any suggestions of a potentially slow start against New Zealand were quickly dismissed as England Nets Ladies strung together two strong opening quarters, trailing by just three at half-time. A slightly sloppy third quarter allowed their opposition to creep ahead but strong leadership from co-captain Caroline Buckland quickly rectified this. In fact, the Ladies came within two of New Zealand in the final 12 minutes.
Player of the Match: Natalie Miller
England Nets Ladies Head Coach Sharron Lewis-Burke said: “Confidence and determination from Lucy Herdman held the attacking circle together and allowed consistency throughout the attack to keep the team fighting to the final whistle.”
England Nets Ladies finished the day fourth in the table with South Africa, Australia and New Zealand leading the way.
For more information, visit the World Indoor Netball Association website.
Photo credit: James Everley.