Gems Coach Mutsauki Rallies Squad Ahead Of WC

GEMS coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki is pleased with the groundwork they have covered in the count-down to the Vitality Netball World Cup.

The Nedbank-sponsored Gems played a total of six games between Saturday and Sunday against different men’s clubs and the national select side. The Gems technical team has been engaging the men’s teams to assist with their preparations since they did not have international friendly matches secured before their departure to the tournament. They will only have a chance to measure themselves against other countries when they take on England, Barbados, Scotland and Wales in friendly games just before the tournament takes off in Cape Town.

Their first game will be against England on July 23, before they take on Barbados on July 25. They will then face Scotland and Wales on July 26 as they wrap-up their preparations. Zimbabwe, competing at the World Cup for the second time, will face 11-time champions Australia, Tonga and Fiji in Pool A, in the preliminary stages.

Mutsauki said they were using the games to assess the team’s endurance since the World Cup is now closer and expressed satisfaction with how they responded.

Out of six games, they won five and drew one. “The weekend’s games were part of the assessment on endurance of the team. We wanted to see how far they can go and still perform if we have more games in a day or two . . . So from our assess-ment I think they are getting there; they managed to play over two days and still performed well.

“With the time left now, what is important is to continue working on game situation, and ensuring our combinations are intact. If we keep on pushing the combinations and coordination, we will get there.

Gems Team

Joice Takaidza, Tafadzwa Matura, Sharon Bwanali, Nalani Makunde, Nicole Muzanenamo, Beaula Hlungwani, Claris Kwaramba (vice-captain), Progress Moyo, Felisitus Kwangwa (captain), Takadanaishe Zimusi, Elizabeth Mushore, Sharleen Makusha.

Reserves Ursula Ndlovu, Paidamoyo Tinoza, Tafadzwa Mawango. Herald

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