Blog #3 – Crunch Match vs Australia

As England’s crunch match with the Aussies wasn’t until late evening, I ventured with my friends over to Manly Beach.
Itis the first time this trip I truly felt ‘on holiday’ as the waves of the ocean splashed over my feet.

I do have a tip for you all though. If you’re planning on eating on the beach – don’t. As you will be stalked and harrassed by about 4,000 seagulls (no, I’m not exaggerating) which then will result in you abandoning your food and running away at Usain Bolt-speed. Apart from the seagull incident, I would highly recommend Manly. 

The fast-paced start to the England match  meant my seagull drama was soon a distant memory as both sides began with intensity, with the score going goal for goal. But it was England who cracked first. Australia played to their own pace, double-marked and defended superbly but it was England that effectively got themselves beaten. 

Putting it bluntly, England’s errors cost them victory over Australia. Misplaced passes and sometimes poor communication proved costly. The Roses’ inabilty to convert their ample turnovers was also disappointing, but the fact they were forcing them in the first place, was heartening. 

England’s performance was not without moments of brilliance though, and their passion, determination and commitment was never in question. 

Coach Tracey Neville tried some unfamiliar combinations we may or may not see again, but the over-riding feeling among England fans during the post-match chat was ‘at least we know what we need to improve for the next one’. But we must take that second chance.

Also, let’s not forget, England came up against a wounded beast in Australia, following their defeat to Trans Tasman rivals New Zealand on Sunday.

This match was a classic case of ‘what might have been’ but in sport you review performances, work on what went wrong and fix it the best you can for the next match.

The England fans here in Sydney and back home are behind the team more than ever and despite being outnumbered 15-1 by Diamonds fans in that Arena, they were loud, proud and made themselves heard to netball fans watching around the world.

I still believe this team can be crowned champions on Sunday, and if they do, they will have beaten some of the best netball players ever to play the game.