Poor Gems punished yet again

The Gems are in danger of an embarrassing ranking this time, having finished eighth at the last showcase in 2019.

THE Zimbabwe national netball team continued with its losing streak yesterday, with the latest being a 62-45 loss to Barbados at the ongoing World Cup jamboree.

Zimbabwe finished last in Pool A, failing to secure a single win, as they lost 86-30,  52-48 and 55-46 against Australia, Fiji and Tonga respectively  and were grouped in Pool E with Barbados, Sri Lanka  and Singapore who also finished last in their group matches.

The Gems are in danger of an embarrassing ranking this time, having finished eighth at the last showcase in 2019.

They thrashed Barbados in a warm-up game just before the tournament started, but yesterday they were caught napping by the Caribbean side.

They were disjointed just like they have been throughout the tournament.

This kind of play has also exposed the team’s lack of experience and preparation for this assignment considering that most of the players are making their first appearance at the international stage.

In yesterday's match, the first quarter ended with the Gems trailing 15-9, with the second quarter proving to be the worst, netting only six goals. A number of changes on both the defence side and the shooting circle didn't yield the desired result.

From the third quarter up to the final whistle, the combination of Nicole Muzanenhamo, who shifted from centre position to partner with Nalani Makunde brought a bit of hope as they made a great partnership and scored 28 goals in both quarters. However, Barbados had already done the damage.

Gems captain Felistus Kwangwa was disappointed with the team's performance and hopes that they will at least secure a single win at this tournament.

“The whole team was just disorganised today (yesterday) and from the onset I don’t know if it was fatigue or something else; we were just making basic errors. We were not stepping wholly in the centre circle which is something not acceptable at this level of the tournament,” she said.

“We just need to turn back to basic netball, moving forward and everyone making sure that if they don't have the  ball, they make themselves an option to receive the ball. It's quite difficult when you are losing almost each and every centre pass, it puts a lot of pressure on the defence side.”

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