NWC 2023: Tonga 55 – Scotland 46
Day five of the Netball World Cup in Cape Town and game 5 for the Scottish Thistles.
In their first meeting at the Netball World Cup Scotland faced off against Tonga in group F.
An unusual own goal from Tonga got Scotland on the board but the Scottish side took some time to settle into the match. Tonga currently ranked 7th in world took an early lead as and Scotland trailed by five heading into the first quarter break.
Changes from the bench in the shooting circle for Scotland saw Emma Barrie, who has been having a standout World Cup, enter as goal shooter. However Scotland were unable to chip away at their deficit and the second quarter resulted in a tied score.
A knock to the confidence of the Scottish Thistles was clear and they were unable to convert their turnovers in the shooting circle.
Scotland left themselves a huge task to pull back a nine goal deficit heading into the final quarter. A momentum shift in at the start of the quarter allowed them to reduce the gap to four with eight minutes left to play.
However, Tonga came back emboldened, and the inexperience of the Scottish Thistles showed. As they youngest team in the competition with an average age of just 23 they couldn’t keep them out for long.
Tonga’s squad boost experience from both Australia with Mo’onia Gerrard former Aussie Diamond and Silver Fern Cat Tuivaiti.
Despite having more shots at goal and fighting it out on court until the final whistle, Scotland could not convert and Tonga got their second win of their World Cup campaign.
Q1: 15-10 Tonga
Q2: 28-23 (13-13)
Q3: 44-35 (16-12)
Q4: 55-46 (11-11)
Final Score – 55-46
Speaking after the match, a frustrated head coach Tamsin Greenway said
“We knew it was going to be a real challenge with Tonga today, we wanted to take it to them. I think the frustration comes because we were right in that game. Ever match has been different, so we’ve had games where we have taken the lead and not be able to hold on, we’ve had ups and downs in different quarters. I think this match was great to show the fight and resilience we’ve got and we’re certainly not a team that hold back. There is still loads to come from us, at the end of the day some of our stats show a really good story but at some point we have to start delivering on it. We have another opportunity against Fiji which is the game we’ve come to win; Tonga was a bonus and we didn’t quite get there but Fiji is a game we have to step up and deliver on.”
Scotland vs Fiji
Thursday 3rd Aug
Available in BBC iPlayer & Sky Sports Arena