TT WILL begin their 2019 Netball World Cup campaign today when they square off against South Africa in a Group C at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England. This match is scheduled for 12.25 pm (TT time).
TT are currently 10th in the world rankings, five spots below South Africa. The Wesley “Pepe” Gomes-coached TT will enter the match on the backs of two defeats and a draw in their three warm-up matches in Wales.
On Saturday, TT were held to a 49-49 draw by Northern Ireland, followed by a pair of defeats – 72-64 to Wales on Sunday and 53-52 to Malawi on Monday. Among the TT players expected to feature today is 21-year-old Shantel Seemungal who, in a video post on the TT Netball Association’s Facebook page yesterday, said, “I feel a little nervous but excited.”
She added, “My goals for this World Cup (are) to be a team player and, anytime I get on the court, to do my best.” South Africa coach Norma Plummer said her team is ready for this year’s World Cup.
“We are ready, as ready as we can be. Our training camp and two test matches in Wales have helped us tremendously with our preparation for the World Cup. We dominated Wales in both test matches which has given my players added confidence going into Liverpool and I was able to give all 12 players court time and try various combinations which was a crucial part of our preparation.”
Plummer said that South Africa were in the toughest group of the 16-nation tournament. “Each of our three round robin stage 1 games Friday (TT), Saturday (Fiji) and Sunday (Jamaica) are big games. The girls will have to be on point in each game to have a chance of ending top two of the group come Monday.”
“We can’t underestimate Trinidad and Tobago. They don’t play a lot of international matches so their form is relatively unknown, but they have a few world-class players and we can’t take them likely in our opener (today).”
TT team – Rhonda John-Davis (captain), Tahirah Hollingsworth, Jameela McCarthy, Kalifa McCollin, Samantha Wallace, Candice Guerero, Shantel Seemungal, Shernece Seemungal, Aniecia Baptiste, Shaquanda Greene, Onella Jack-Hill, Daystar Swift.