Jewels downed, but not out

The Namibian team at the Pacific Netball Series. Photo: Australia Netball

Desert Jewels head coach Julene Meyer challenged her side to ‘toughen up’ after losing 45-41 to Australia’s First Nations Black Swans team at the Pacific Netball Series in Brisbane yesterday.

The defeat ended Namibia’s two game winning streak and dented their chances of challenging for honours.

Meyer feels the Jewels, who looked lacklustre and fatigued after the exertion of back-to-back winning efforts against Tonga and Singapore, were naïve which caused them to not maintain their recent high standards.

They need to overcome defending champions Fiji today, and hope other results are favourable to keep their top two ambition alive.

Meyer was brutal in her assessment of her team’s display against the hosts.

“We lost the game by four points. It was a very frustrating game, a game where we managed to lose against ourselves and play against ourselves more than we did against the opposition,” says Meyer.

“A frustrating game in terms of inconsistency and off the ball interference, but at this stage in our learning curve we need to toughen up, suck it up and be mature about it.”

Jewels star Luise Kausehue says they need to regain their form.

“It went well, but we just have to work harder for our next game,” she says.

Her coach wants the entire team to rediscover that competitive edge and maintain going forward, and not just rely on the defence to bail them out.

They will to at their best against the wounded Fijians who have lost their last two matches, including yesterday’s 64-63 defeat to Tonga, after a promising start to the tournament.

“On the positive side, we had plenty of turnover ball created by the defence,” Meyer says.

“Also Elicia [Hambongo] came on for her debut. I’m happy with her entrance onto court, successful connection and being composed under pressure.

“Fiji is one of the tough teams we’ve got on this side. They play with a lot of speed, and they have rangy, lanky players. We look forward to it. All players are injury free and ready to go,” she says.

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