The 2019 Netball World Cup is officially underway in Liverpool, England and Malawi Queens opened their campaign with defeat to New Zealand 64-45 on Friday in pool B .
The next pool match for Malawi Queens is on Saturday morning against Singapore and coach Griffin ‘Zagalo’ Saenda believes his charges can get back to winning ways.
After their historic 57-53 win against Silver Ferns during last year’s Commonwealth Games, Malawi Queens gave false hopes at the start as they led 4-2.
New Zealand eventually found their rhythm and finished the first quarter strongly to take a 17-11 lead.
Three minutes into the second quarter, New Zealand’s lead had quickly ballooned to 10 goals at 22-11, courtesy of a 5-0 start to the term.
From there it was always going to be a mountain to climb for Malawi.
The Queens were outclassed in second quarter showing, where Ferns outscored 15-6 and established a 32-17 halftime lead.
To their credit, Malawi kept fighting until the final whistle, drawing the last term 15-15.
Malawi missed the presence of star goal shoot Mwai Kumwenda, ruled out of the World Cup through a long-term knee injury. Kumwenda landed 41 goals from 46 attempts in Malawi’s historic win over the Ferns at the Commonwealth Games.
New Zealand 64 (Maria Folau: 39/43, Ameliaranne Ekenasio: 20/21, Te Paea Selby-Rickit: 5/6) Malawi 45 (Joyce Mvula: 22/27, Sindi Simtowe: 4/6, Alinafe Kamwala: 1/2, Jane Chimaliro: 18/22). Quarter scores: 1Q: 17-11, HT: 32-17, 3Q: 49-30