Malawi Queens have said their focus is now at a potentially ranking-defining clash with Zimbabwe on Thursday at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool after losing to reigning champions Australia’s Diamonds 74-25 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the Malawi Queens were outrun and outclassed by a Diamonds outfit which had to generate its own momentum after quarter-time, when the game was all-but won with the scoreboard at 21-2.
But the Queens were affected by the injuries of defender Lauren Ngwira who went off injured and 83-test cap goal keeper Towera Vinkhumba replaced her.
Takondwa Lwazi who was rested had to be forced into action as an injury replacement at centre.
Coach Griffin Saenda also sent new players for Malawi for the second quarter – Jane Chimaliro at goal attack and Grace Mwafulira at wing defence – the latter went on to record the most intercepts for her team.
Saenda said the focus now is for the game against Zimbabwe, saying it is a “must win.”
The clash against fellow Africans will have an impact on the world netball ranking.
Malawi is ranked 9th while Zimbabwe is ranked 13 in the world.
Teams like Malawi and Zimbabwe which did not went through to semi-finals will contest matches to determine their overall placing (5th-12th) depending on their finishing position in Group F or G.
Zimbabwe coach Lloyd Makunde said after defeating Barbados 66-41 they now target Malawi game.
It’s game on.