The Malawi netball team, Queens, on Thursday beat Trinidad and Tobago 60-49 in a friendly match on the eve of the opening of the Netball World Cup at the Sydney Olympic Park in Australia.
Coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua told Nyasa Times from Sydney through Messenger text that the win is a “morale-boosting” ahead of their first crunch tie against South Africa in the second match on the tournament at Acer Arena on the opening Friday.
Malawi, now ranked sixth, beat fifth-ranked South Africa in last year’s Commonwealth Games play-offs, but South Africa have a 4-3 lead of the Queens in their last seven encounters. Their matches are always passionate and closely contested.
“We will put up a good fight. There is plenty at stake against our rivals,” Kalua said.
She said Malawi Queens are excited about starting their World Cup campaign.
South Africa coach Norma Plummer has said she knows their eternal rivals, Malawi will come back hard against them in their opening match.
“They have made peace with some of the players who withdrew from the team, and it will be a tougher team to beat. Malawi will want to go up another gear tomorrow.
“But we’ve had time together, and we can go out feeling confident,” said Plummer.
And South Africa captain Maryke Holtzhausen also said :“We know Malawi is going to come at us very hard, and that it will be a very physical match, but we are ready for them.”.
Malawi is billed by international media to entertain with their flamboyant, playful, joyful styles.
However, they rate Malawi to struggle against the top teams given their lack of height at the back.
The Guardian Australia reported Malawi have not lost to a side outside the top six for nearly 10 years (that was Uganda in 2006), and are an outside chance of causing an upset or two.
“Keep an eye out for the shooting combination of Mwai Kumwenda and Sindi Simtowe, who offer plenty of speed and all around razzle-dazzle,” Guardian Australia reported.
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