Fiji Pearls in tough world cup pool

The Fiji Pearls with the Singapore netball team during their three match test series in Singapore recently. Picture: SUPPLIED/SINGAPORE NETBALL FB

THE Fiji Pearls netball team has a huge challenge in the pool games of the coming Netball World Cup from July 12 to 21 in Liverpool, England.

The team is pooled with Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and South Africa who are all ranked higher than Fiji. Fiji Pearls head coach Vicky Wilson said the girls were aware of the tough competition from those countries.

“The three teams will be extremely tough because of the height all three teams have,” she said.

“We have been working on various defensive strategies throughout the court.

“We would need to apply pressure high up in the court starting with our goal shooter and we need to be able to allow ourselves to find the timing in bringing the ball through the court.”

The three teams are expected to bring in professional netball players.

“Jamaica has three shooters who stand at 194 centimetres and 196cm, so that will be difficult to contain. South Africa’s defensive pairing is the starting lineup for the Sunshine Coast Lightening and is proving to be one of the best teams defensively.

“Trinidad’s goal shooter Sam Wallace is having a stand-out season for the Sydney Swifts and also their goal attack Kayla Mc’Collins has had a fine season with the Celtic Dragons in the English Super League.

“All three teams have players playing professional netball in Australia, New Zealand and England which give an advantage over us, so we are aware that we are in a very tough pool.”

The Fiji Pearls extended squad will be flying out to Australia for a few warm-up competitions and training camp next month leading up to the Netball World Cup in England.

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