Games

Australia deny England to clinch 12th Netball World Cup title

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Australian players celebrate winning the final of the Netball World Cup against England, in Cape Town on 06 August 2023.—AFP
Australian players celebrate winning the final of the Netball World Cup against England, in Cape Town on 06 August 2023.—AFP 

England succumbed to a dominant Australia, who secured a resounding 61-45 win to retain their crown and win the Netball World Cup for the 12th time.

England’s path to the final had been commendable, with notable victories against Australia in the group stage and a semi-final triumph over New Zealand. However, their dreams of lifting the coveted trophy were thwarted as they settled for a silver medal in Cape Town. Nevertheless, this achievement matched the nation’s previous best result at the tournament, achieved in 1975 during a round-robin event.

England’s head coach, Jess Thirlby, expressed disappointment with the margin of defeat but acknowledged the gap in experience between seasoned finalists and a team making their debut in the ultimate match. Thirlby recognized the challenges faced during the game, emphasizing the need to maintain possession against a formidable Australian side.

Despite the disappointment, England’s presence in the final demonstrates their growing strength in the sport, with other teams in the chasing pack showing significant improvements. The journey to the final has been transformative for England, instilling a sense of pride and a belief in their potential to reach greater heights in future competitions.

Australia approached the final with determination, keen to reestablish their dominance in world netball. Under the guidance of head coach Stacey Marinkovich, the Diamonds executed a dynamic and assertive strategy, keeping England on the back foot throughout the match. The Roses fought valiantly, but Australia’s powerful attack circle, bolstered by shooters Sophie Garbin and Kiera Austin, proved challenging to contain.

The final quarter was the turning point as Australia capitalized on England’s errors, widening the goal margin and sealing their victory. England, despite their impressive performances in previous matches, appeared over-awed on the biggest stage, struggling to maintain possession and counter Australia’s relentless pressure.

While questions may arise regarding Thirlby’s substitutions, the experience of competing at this level will undoubtedly serve as a valuable learning opportunity for England. The team’s mid-courter, Imogen Allison, expressed immense pride in their historic achievement and aspires to return stronger and claim gold in future endeavours.

Ultimately, Australia’s dominance in netball remains steadfast, highlighted by its victory in the 2023 Netball World Cup final. England’s journey to the final and commendable performance showcases their potential as a formidable competitor in the sport. As the teams reflect on their performances, the world of netball eagerly anticipates future encounters between these two talented squads.

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