Netball: Three things we learnt from England vs Jamaica
England lost 66-49 to Jamaica in the VNIS opener at the Copper Box Arena on Tuesday 29th November. Sports Gazette outlines three things we learnt.
1. England need to cut out the unforced errors
Head coach Tracey Neville will not have been impressed by the number of uncharacteristic errors the Roses were penalised for in the opener - from immediately, unnecessarily and carelessly conceding possession from their own centre pass to being punished for not passing within three seconds. The second quarter, when Jamaica turned over the game, was particularly crucial. It was a physical match, as expected, with the referees often picking up on contact. If England can iron out these individual errors and keep their composure, they're more than a match for the Sunshine Girls.
2. Jhaniele Fowler-Reid is unplayable at times
In the pre-match build-up, England knew that Fowler-Reid would be Jamaica's biggest threat - literally! At 6ft 5 she towers above the defenders, effortlessly plucking the ball out of the air. Trying to prevent the high feed into her is the Roses' best option to limit the damage she can cause but that's much easier said than done given the height difference. England also need to keep an eye on her shooting partner 21-year-old Shanice Beckford, who is equally prolific.
3. England stronger with defensive changes
Serena Guthrie moved to WD and Ama Agbeze switched to GK for the final quarter. Both produced some fine interceptions and helped create a strong defensive unit with Eboni Beckford-Chambers. Captain Agbeze marshalled her troops well from the back and led by example with passion, physicality and determination. England need to regain their composure and come back with exactly that attitude for the second game in Manchester on Friday 2nd December.