Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Taifa Queens March On in Nations Cup

THE national netball team, Taifa Queens has maintained their impressive record at the ongoing Six Nations tournament is Singapore but are remained with a crucial game on Friday in the fight for the silverware.

According to reports from Singapore, Taifa Queens beat the defending Champions, Singapore, which is trained by the one time national side coach--Australian, Kate Carpenter. Friday, Taifa Queens who so far has unbeaten record since the throw off of the event, will have a date with a top seeding side Namibia, which has also not lost a single game.

Singapore took on the unbeaten Tanzania with plenty home support to lift their game as they hoped to get back on a winning path. The highest ranked teams in the competition (18th and 19th in the world respectively) gave a showcase of fast, athletic netball with Taifa Queens controlling most of the possession in the opening quarter to take a 16-7 lead.

Singapore struggled to settle into their game or find the rhythm that had worked well for them in the closing quarter against Namibia yesterday and they were 15 points adrift by halftime (28-13).

They dug-deep and gave a more confident performance in the third quarter, wining it 11-14 - Cassandra Soh once again shooting with composure- but they couldn't stop the Africans slotting them in at the other end and holding a 39-27 advantage going into the final period.

The defensive line-up of Chen Lili (GK) and Jean Ng (moved from WD to GD for final quarter) worked tirelessly in the closing minutes to limit the ball flow into the circle as Tanzania continued to look relaxed and confident, creating space and covering every inch of the court in attack and defence.

Tanzania claimed the final quarter 12-7 and the match 51-34 to secure their spot in Saturday's final with one group match remaining against their African rivals Namibia on Friday. Tanzania Coach Mary Waya was very relaxed about her team's continuing success and knows that it is Saturday's final when the results really matter.

She said, "When you are winning the games, and we're the only ones to win every game, we shouldn't be bothered about the scores, just to get the points. The girls felt a bit of pressure against Singapore and there were a few mistakes but we still won.

The final whistle on Saturday is when we will see if we are the champions or we are not." Singapore's Co-Captain Lin Qingyi was upbeat about the match saying, "It was a tough match. I think we didn't start as well as we had hoped to. Our game plan was to take a quarter at a time and I think we came back on the third quarter and I was hoping for a better finish."

Coach Kate Carpenter added, "We got a little bit overwhelmed at the start but as the game progressed we had a better understanding. I thought that Lili got better in combination with the in-circle defence and the people working outside. On attack, we had some wonderful phases of play but we didn't reset and drive-on again enough."

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