Big two falter in Fast5 tournament
The two heavyweights of world netball failed to feature in the final of the Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne.
Australia and the Silver Ferns were knocked out of title contention yesterday, with England and Jamaica qualifying for the grand final. New Zealand and Australia had to settle for the minor playoffs.
On Saturday the Silver Ferns had two losses (37-30 to England and 40-30 to Australia) and a win (40-26 over South Africa), so needed to beat Jamaica yesterday afternoon to keep their hopes alive.
But Jamaica won the game 30-23, so even though New Zealand beat Malawi 29-27 in their last round-robin game, the win meant nothing.
Australia also needed to win yesterday, as a win over England would have put Australia in the box seat to secure a spot in the gold medal match, but they were beaten 28-19.
Having also lost to Jamaica on Saturday, the Australians needed other results to go their way to stay alive, but Jamaica then ended their chances by beating New Zealand.
After tallying 40 points in a commanding win over New Zealand on Saturday night, Australia finished with their lowest score of the tournament as stout English defence forced them into 18 turnovers.
England shooter Helen Housby had a strong influence, providing some key scoring moments to inspire the visitors.
A member of the NSW Swifts in the Super Netball competition, Housby nailed a super shot to close out England’s third quarter power play then added three goals in the final term to close out the win.
With honours even after the first period, Australia outscored England 8-3 in the power play second quarter and were poised to take a narrow lead into the final term before Housby’s late sixpointer swung the contest.
South Africa beat Malawi 28-17 in the playoff for fifth and sixth place.
Storm Purvis and the New Zealand team missed out on the Fast5 netball final in Melbourne.