The Sunshine Girls will face tough New Zealand in September | Sports
Netball Jamaica president Tricia Robinson says the Sunshine Girls’ upcoming three-test series against netball powerhouses New Zealand will be a massive test for the team ahead of the Netball World Cup (NWC) tournament. next year in South Africa.
The two teams will fight for the legendary Taini Jamison Trophy from September 17-21. The first game of the series will take place at Globox Arena in Hamilton while the second will be played at the same venue a day later. The final game of the series will be played at Auckland’s Eventfinda Stadium on September 21.
“It’s very important for the Sunshine Girls to play against higher ranked teams than us in the world,” Robinson said. “It will be good practice for them ahead of the World Championships next year as they will benefit a lot from these matches and we are definitely looking forward to this series,” she added.
In the last meeting of the two teams of 2020, the New Zealanders beat the Sunshine Girls to win the Vitality Netball Nations Cup in England.
However, the Sunshine Girls made history by beating the New Zealanders in the Cadbury Netball series in New Zealand. Jamaica was the first country to beat the Silver Ferns for the trophy since its inception in 2008.
The Sunshine Girls finished a disappointing fifth at the last NWC in Liverpool, England in 2019 and, according to Robinson, her association will do everything they can to ensure they secure a podium spot next year.
Meanwhile, Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis said the series was a huge opportunity for the Jamaicans to test their skills against the Silver Ferns, who are currently ranked second in the world.
“The last time we played in the series we won every game. Fiji and Malawi were there too. We will work very hard to repeat that win in September,” Francis said.
“It’s an ongoing preparation and we still have work to do in all areas of the field before next year’s World Championships,” she said.
“This series will allow us to test different combinations of players to correct any gaps in our tactical strategy before our overseas players return to their professional leagues early next year,” she said.
The Sunshine Girls are due to leave the island on July 21 for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.