Zimbabwe Netball Team Wins Over Barbados In World Cup Friendly Match: Coach Speaks [Video]

Following their win against Barbados in their second friendly match yesterday, Gems coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki has said the team is improving by each game.

The Nedbank-sponsored Gems are in Cape Town, South Africa for the Netball World Cup, which takes off this Friday.

The global show-piece runs until August 6 with 16 teams competing.

Zimbabwe emerged winners after beating Barbados 67-34.

“The team is ready now and we are just waiting to play our last friendly tomorrow (today) and see if we are able to play the same way we did today.

“Looking at the aspects we wanted to assess and emphasise on, especially team defence and conversion rate, today we noticed some improvement because we managed to score 67 goals. And I think we defended well because 34 against 67, I think it’s good.

“So if we can continue to play the same way we played today, because we are taking every game seriously whether it’s a friendly or not, I think we are in the right direction.

“We don’t say this is a friendly match, but in all games the aim is to assess where there is need for attention and where there is need for changes.

“And so far I am happy with the team’s performance,” said Mutsauki.

Zimbabwe are one of the four African countries that qualified for this year’s edition.

The senior national team spent more than a month in camp in the final phase of the preparations before they left for South Africa last Thursday.

And the technical team led by Mutsauki is using the friendly matches to fine tune their side ahead of the World Cup competition.

The Gems coach said the matches have been helpful and the team is making positive strides, which is encouraging.

“So far looking at our preparations, the team is improving almost every game we play, every day, so I think these games we are playing are very important and are helping us to assess the team. And I am sure we are improving.”

The Gems’ last competitive competition was the Spar Diamond Challenge in South Africa last November.

Zimbabwe will face Australia on Friday as the World Cup comes to life, then Fiji the following day and Tonga on Sunday in Pool A, in the preliminaries stage one.

In other Pools, England are up against Malawi, Scotland and Barbados in Pool B.

Pool C is made up of Jamaica, South Africa, Wales and Sri Lanka while defending champions New Zealand, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, and Singapore make up Pool D.

“Looking at our game against Australia, we take the game as it is, we will not give them too much respect. But this game whatever outcome we get we take it as it is, it will help us in terms of direction.

“We want a win but if we fail we accept it. But we don’t want to lose by a huge margin, or a record defeat, we don’t want that.

“If we win, even if we win by just a goal it’s okay on our side, we would have gotten two points.

“Then looking at Fiji and Tonga, we won’t underestimate any team. We are not taking any of the teams lightly. Tonga and Fiji, they are good sides although we don’t know much about Tonga.

“If we can beat these two teams I think we will be in a better position and that’s what we are fighting for, so that we progress to the second round,” said Mutsauki.

Meanwhile, Hockey Association of Zimbabwe have sent out their best wishes to the Gems as the countdown to the tournament continues.

“The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe would like to wish the Gems all the best in their upcoming Netball World Cup journey.

“We know that you have been working hard for this moment, and we are confident that you will represent our country with pride. We know that you will give it your all on the world stage, and we will be cheering you on every step of the way!

“We know that you will make us all proud,” HAZ posted on their Facebook page.

This is the first time the Netball World Cup is being played on the African continent.

Gems Team

Joice Takaidza, Tafadzwa Matura, Sharon Bwanali, Nalani Makunde, Nicole Muzanenamo, Beaula Hlungwani, Claris Kwaramba (vice-captain), Progress Moyo, Felisitus Kwangwa (captain), Takadanaishe Zimusi, Elizabeth Mushore, Sharleen Makusha.


Ursula Ndlovu, Paidamoyo Tinoza, Tafadzwa Mawango.


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