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NC2015 Match Report: Papua New Guinea Vs Northern Ireland

The second match of the day was an electrifying prelude battle between reigning world number 12 Northern Ireland and number 16 Papua New Guinea, both of whom have secured their places for the finals on Saturday. 

Kicking the match off to a great start, Papua New Guinea demonstrated a mix of swift passes and astounding team play in split seconds, propelling their score to a huge leap of 11-4 by the end of the first quarter. Papua New Guinea’s goal attacker Lua Rikis once again validated her skills on the court as she expertly avoided her Irish opponents to score four goals for the first quarter, placing her opponents in jeopardy.

Feeling threatened, the Irish powerhouse stormed back in the second quarter with a score of 11-4 seven minutes into the game, much to their fans’ delight. Solid team play between Northern Ireland’s goal shooter Jenna Bowman and goal attack Sarah Montgomery helped escalate their count to 19-9 by the end of the second quarter. 

The third quarter saw both Northern Ireland and Papua New Guinea engaged in a heated and jittery affair as both teams roughed it out on the court to boost their nearly even scores. With Northern Ireland’s goal shooting position now helmed by Jenna Bowman, who has had a high shooting record of 71% in the previous match, the Irish team pulled through and narrowly closed the game with 12-9 in their favour. 

In the final quarter, Papua New Guinea seemed more motivated to advance their team score upon realizing that their Irish counterparts were leading the match. Goal shooter Herronie Daera showcased her dexterity and perfectly scored 3 goals out of 3 attempts, but formidable defensive play put up by Irish captain Gemma Gibney enabled her team shooter Jenna Bowman to shoot at ease, ending the match with 47-35 in one of the most nail-biting matches in the Nations Cup tournament. 

Highlights

• The game’s top scorer was Northern Ireland’s Jenna Bowman, who scored an impressive 29 goals during the match

• Papua New Guinea’s top scorer was Herronie Daera, who finished the match with the highest 96% shooting accuracy scoring 23 out of 35 goals for her team. Overall, Papua New Guinea had a shooting record of 81% while Northern Ireland finished the game with a shooting record of 62%. 

• The winner, Northern Ireland, won the match against the Papua New Guinea team with a harrowing score of 47-35

Score

Papua New Guinea vs Northern Ireland

Q1: 11 – 4

Q2: 20 – 23 (9 – 19)

Q3: 29 – 35 (9 – 12)

Q4: 35 – 47 (6 – 12)

Quote from Head Coaches

Julie Kimber, Northern Ireland Head Coach          

I think the girls realized that we needed to step it up, and that we started really badly getting beaten 11-4 in the first quarter. It was a completely different second quarter, we came alive and played our game and that’s what we wanted to do for the whole of the game, we pulled it back 19-9, and that was our first quarter.

Kyla’s been unwell today, that’s why we took her off. It’s always hard with the shooters when all three of them are performing so well, all of them give different aspects to the game. When Jenna came on she started really, really well, with her height she’s quite a dominant player and it worked really, really well. 

The thing with the players is that they push themselves, I just have to ask them to do certain things and they’ll go beyond. Some of them are just machines, they work so hard and tomorrow will be the same as today. They’ll have a good rest tonight and come out tomorrow and perform the same.

Unaisi Rokoura, Papua New Guinea Head Coach

We wanted to use this opportunity to check out Northern Ireland, their game plan and find out what it’s like playing against them and their style of play. It’s good that we’ve got this opportunity now. I believe we started really well, and it was through our own simple mistakes that we gave away a lot of goals. 

We did some pretty good stuff today, but we know that we’ve got to be consistent to come out as winners tomorrow. 

We’ve got an injury on our team – Tiata, and we have rested her. She suffered a blow in her knee a few days ago, so we rested her and decided to try out our young shooter Daera, who has done pretty well.  We also try to use different combinations and see how it goes. These girls have been playing together now for the whole year so the combination is there, and all the combinations we try out must work.

At the end of the day our strategy is that we try to close their fast attacking down the court, and that is the only way, if we do that then we will be able to turn over the score, and it’s important that once we attain the goals, we maintain it. 

I guess we got carried away, especially with the umpiring; it’s quite different now, they allowed a lot of contests, and different games we have different umpires making different calls. Today was a bit different, at one end there were more stoppages and penalties given, but on the other it was more free flowing. Now we know what we might get tomorrow so it was good training for tomorrow to toughen up. 

Daera’s just started playing netball this year, and made it into the squad. It’s amazing what she did today, being able to reach the high balls, and shooting a record of 96% today – that’s really amazing for a young shooter at this level shooting 96% wow! I think she did a great job and did what she was supposed to do, hold the baseline and go for the high balls. 

We have to go back and see if Tiata will be available tomorrow, but if that doesn’t happen then we have to play Daera and from what I’ve witnessed today, I believe she will be able to step up.

Quote from Team Captains

Gemma Gibney, Northern Ireland Captain

We could have started better as we had a very poor first quarter and needed to fight back. We’ve done that a few times this tournament so to start really sharp and lead from the front and build from there. They are very strong girls, and they like to use their body to hold their space, they’re very agile and quick as well so I expect pretty much the same performance tomorrow as well. 

Lua Rikis, Papua New Guinea Captain

The changes that came on were not executed I think, and Northern Ireland capitalized on that. I think the attackers are more confident fending Tiata than the new girl Herronie as it’s just her second game so there’s not enough confidence from the attackers. On the other hand, the Northern Ireland tight defence has really paid off for them.