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Nations Cup 2022: Botswana remain unbeaten at Nations Cup 2022 with win over Singapore

Top two teams will qualify for finals of Nations Cup, and Singapore's hopes now depend on other team's results

PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE


SINGAPORE, 6 December 2022 – Botswana extended their unbeaten run at Nations Cup 2022 on Tuesday (6 December) after putting up a powerful display of netball to defeat hosts Singapore 71-21 at the OCBC Arena. Fiji beat Malaysia 80-50, while Ireland recorded their first victory of the tournament with a hard-fought 43-37 win over the Singapore A team.


Of the six teams, Botswana are the only one who have won all three of their matches so far. The top two teams from the round-robin stage advance to the final, and Singapore’s hopes will depend on how the others fare.


Botswana dominated the game from start to finish with their aggressive play and physicality, pressuring their Singaporean opponents and restricting them to fewer than 10 goals in each quarter. Despite the hosts making several line-up changes throughout, they had no answers for Botswana.

PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE


Singapore coach Annette Bishop, who opted to rest shooter and co-captain Toh Kai Wei, said: “We have 12 players, so it gave opportunities for the other players to step in today and see those combinations out there and have that experience against tough competition. We kept trying things out there, unfortunately we had a lot of turnovers.


They’ve got long arms and we didn’t adapt to that when we were around the top of the circle and we were a little bit smaller. They kept fighting it just didn’t show on the scoreboard.


“(Our chances of reaching the final) will be dependent on others' games – Fiji came out and won comfortably today, Botswana scored the big one over us. We just have to keep playing, we still have two more games and regardless of that we just have to finish strong and ensure we are in the top four.”

PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE


Botswana coach Jennifer Van Dyk noted: “Singapore was not fully themselves today, as compared to yesterday. I was impressed with the way Singapore played yesterday against Fiji, I can see that they are a well-coached team. I also noticed the shooter that played yesterday did not play today, and she makes a huge difference.


My team played well today, I'm very proud of them. It will be fantastic for us to reach the finals of the Nations Cup and will give the team confidence. The rest of the African teams are very strong, we struggle against them, and I could see that the Singapore team is also not quite used to the African style of playing, so winning this will definitely give us a lot of confidence.”


Ireland claim first win of tournament over Singapore A

Ireland were made to work for their first win of the tournament by a young and persistent Singapore A side. Though Ireland were always in the lead, their opponents equalised several times throughout the game and kept chasing. After leading 10-8 and 22-19 at the end of the first and second quarters respectively, Ireland’s experience prevailed as they consolidated their lead to earn their first Nations Cup 2022 victory.

PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE


Ireland captain Fran Duffy said: “The match was very competitive, this is our first win of the tournament. We are looking forward to the next few games and building up on today's performance. We are a very young team, a bit of nerves, battling jet lag, but the team is learning and taking in the experience well.


We will be taking lots of rest before the next two games, against Fiji and Botswana. There are two more training sessions and we will be focusing on the processes and after it's to put what we practised at these training sessions when we play.”


Singapore A captain Aqilah Andin praised her team for their effort, saying: “It was a very tough game; Ireland came out really strong today. For everyone who plays us, of course they want to win. Our job is to give our best and the girls did pretty well on court. There are things that we have to work on, but I think there are a lot of great patches of play that we executed today.”

PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE


The other match of the day saw Fiji ease to an 80-50 win over Malaysia. Fiji, who won a gruelling match against Singapore the day before, came out firing against Malaysia. Though Malaysia led briefly at 8-6 at the start of the game, Fiji caught up quickly and never looked back.


Fiji captain Vaiti Coa Waqatabu said: “Our main aim was just to play simple and basic netball. Even though we won by a big margin, we still have a lot of areas to improve on, including having more control and more speed. We’re just beginning to recover from yesterday’s game. For tomorrow’s game, we’ll pick up where we left off today and to back to the drawing board. Our goal for this competition is for us to keep improving on every game that we play, and winning is a bonus to us.”

PHOTO: NETBALL SINGAPORE


The action continues at the OCBC Arena on 7 December, with the fixtures as follows:


3pm - Botswana vs Malaysia

5pm - Ireland vs Fiji

7pm - Singapore vs Singapore A


The 14th edition of the Nations Cup features six teams from five countries: 2011 champions Fiji, Ireland, Malaysia, Botswana, two-time champions Singapore, and a Singapore A team. The tournament will be played in a round robin format, with the top two teams advancing to the finals.

Tickets are available for purchase at this link here.


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