Collingwood Magpies netball’s official 2019 Netball World Cup (NWC) correspondent, A.K.A the Magpies’ head coach, Rob Wright, will keep us up to date with all the very latest coming out of Liverpool.
A seasoned World Cup spectator, this will be Wright’s eighth NWC tournament.
The Wright Insight; our man on the ground, keeping us informed with the latest NWC news.
World Cup preview
Touched down in Liverpool Wednesday at 0400 hours (BST)
Wednesday’s temperate was 23 degrees, slightly too warm for my preference of 17.
arriving in Liverpool;
I was expecting more fans around upon arrival. Although, we’re still a whole day out so the atmosphere should ramp up on the eve of the tournament.
‘Netball Now’ slogan is all over the streets.
It’s very exciting to be here, I’m interested to see how involved the locals get having a World Cup upon them. There hasn’t been a great netball tournament in England for some time now.
Before I delve deep into my psychic predictions, it’s important to get you all up to date with the international netball rankings;
The international netball rankings are updated every four years on July 1.
The rating is a measure of the average performance of a team over a series of matches. Past results are weighted, giving a lower weighting to earlier results. Matched player in the past year have full weighting (100%). Matched player in the two previous years have a weighting of 50%. Earlier matches are nor directly included in the ratings at all.
Given this, right now it’s a very interesting period as it’s the only time that rankings can change without anyone having played. The matches played four years ago are completely whipped.
The current order of top rankings are Australia at no. 1 followed by Jamaica, England and New Zealand at a very close third/fourth, and South Africa in fifth.
Out of these five it’s anyone’s game but five doesn’t go into four (semi-finals). One team that’s a real force is going to miss out. Who plays best when it really matters is going to be the determining factor.
Countries to watch
New Zealand is playing really well – a tough contender.
South Africa have a number of players playing in the Australian and England national leagues – we know they’ll come in strong.
Unpacking the big questions – my predictions on the eve of day 1.
Weather update – predicted to be cloudy 21, right now its 17 exactly, perfect.
Tomorrow’s games will be really interesting, one in particular is New Zealand v Malawi. A 2018 Commonwealth Games re-match in which New Zealand was defeated. It will be interesting to watch Malawi without their superstar shooter Mwai Kumwenda (who plays for the Vixens). I predict this game will be very one sided – New Zealand way.
Australia v Northern Ireland will also be one sided – Aussies take this one.
Jamaica play Fiji, which again, is one sided – Jamaica.
I predict the scoreboard for these games will be in the 90s, even higher. A bloodbath - the big teams will rack up some big numbers early on.
The two games of the day to watch – England v Uganda; its rankings 3 v 6. South Africa v Trinidad and Tobago; even though I expect South Africa to win easy it will be an interesting game and give us all a good idea of their playing style.
Although I’ve predicted the first day of match-play not to be very close, they will still all be of interest. Each game will give us a good indication on how each team is tracking, especially those with fresh players.
It will be really interesting to see how different teams approach the first three days of match-play. Do they decide to run everyone and mix it up? We usually see this in the initial games, where everyone is given a run early on. However, I’m thinking we may see more teams putting a line out there and letting it run – we may not see all playing players every game.
It will be really fascinating to see the different strategies across the teams.
I predict after the first three rounds of match-play, New Zealand will be Australia’s fourth contender. I don’t really want to get ahead of myself by predicting an outcome, as I mentioned, New Zealand is looking very good.
One of my final observations – in terms of betting favourites over here unsurprisingly England are favourites. The pressure on England to win at home will be a true factor for them. With the nature that comes with high expectations this could go one of two ways for England– they embrace it and strive, or it cripples them.
The player to watch; Peace Proscovia (Uganda) – it will be great to see her match up against Geva Mentor.
TO CONCLUDE – I predict an Australia v England final.
Let the games begin.
PS. We’re expecting a bit of rain later in the week – I’ll be thrilled with that.