NWC 2023: Fiji 46 – Scotland 62
With the win, Scotland advanced to the 9th/10th playoff while Fiji will contest for 11th/12th place.
With the Scottish supporters belting out “Flower of Scotland” from the stands, the Thistles secured a 62-46 victory over Fiji in a Pool F match at the Netball World Cup 2023.
This was the sixth World Cup meeting between the two countries. Thursday’s Scottish victory has levelled matters at three victories each.
Scotland started strongly with a commanding performance in the first 15 minutes. The mid-court, with captain Claire Maxwell at centre playing in her third World Cup, presented quality ball to the shooters who only missed one of their attempts. At the other end, the pressure Scottish defenders Cerys Finn and Emily Nicholl put on the Fiji shooters added to the error count of the Islanders growing.
Starting the second quarter five goals down, the Fiji coaching staff made several changes off the bench as well as positional switches on court, including Ana Nauqe from wing attack to centre and Josephine Nailumu from wing defence to goal defence. It worked, and Fiji won the quarter 18-16. The halftime score was 29-26 in favour of Scotland.
Fiji however couldn’t maintain their strong performance before halftime with Scotland continuing to capitalise on their opponents’ mistakes. The Scottish shooters then made sure of every opportunity presented to them in the circle and closed out the match with a comfortable win.
Scottish captain Claire Maxwell was delighted with the win.
“We’ve been a bit disappointed this competition so far, we’ve been almost there playing some good matches. So to grind out a 60-minute performance is really good. We stayed with our processes for longer, our error rate was fairly low and defensively we won a lot of ball.”
Fiji goal attack Unaisi Rauluni said her side didn’t play as well as they wanted to.
“It hasn’t been that great. We struggled in the mid-court area and this is something that we need to work on.”
Q2: 26-29 (18-16)
Q3: 39-45 (13-16)
Q4: 46-62 (7-17)
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Niamh McCall (Scotland)