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news, updates, Diamonds’ First Nations dress design, fixtures, schedule, results, England Roses

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The Netball World Cup is now underway, with the Diamonds scoring a win on the court while also taking an “important step in the right direction” towards recognising the contribution of First Nations players to the game.

Elsewhere, the Roses also claimed a first-up victory as one of England’s players opened up on the dream of learning from childhood mentor Geva Mentor.

Read on for the latest wrap of all the action and results in the World Cup Daily!

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Veve leads the way for Tonga

Tongan captain Hulita Veve was dominant in her side’s 56-51 win over Fiji, finishing with 21

goals assists, five gains and two deflections.

The 27-year-old Queensland Firebird, who led Tonga to victory at the PacificAus Sports

Netball Series on the Sunshine Coast last year, was in everything from the first whistle.

Feeding Marie Hansen and VNL star Uneeq Palavi in the first half, and then superstar Cat

Tuivaiti in the second, Veve was smart, fast and precise.

Veve, who was named MVP in the PacificAus final, had 28 feeds, 23 with an attempt, and 13

second-phase receives, the most of anyone in the match, as well as four intercepts. Tonga

takes on Australia on Saturday.

Hulita Veve of Tonga sends a pass. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023 via Getty Images)
Hulita Veve of Tonga sends a pass. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023 via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Dress design blazes a trail

For the first time, the Australian Diamonds tonight wore a dress featuring First Nations

artwork. It’s a moment the artist, Yorta Yorta woman Alkina Edwards, will never forget.

“It means the absolute world to me and it is a very big honour to be the first indigenous artist

to have my design on the Diamonds’ uniform. I feel so proud to share my culture on such a big platform,” Edwards told Fox Netball.

“I believe it shows an important step in the right direction. Showcasing indigenous artwork in

such a deadly way like this starts conversations, creating unity and celebration and

reconciliation amongst us all.”

Entitled Ganurra, meaning blaze in Yorta Yorta, Edwards’ artwork represents the Diamonds

as “fierce, like a large ball of fire”.

She said the embrace of indigenous artwork should send a message to First Nations girls that

there is a place for them at the very top level of netball.

“You must believe in yourself and stay true to who you are always. Be proud of your identity,

culture, community and the skills you have. We have so many deadly upcoming netballers

within our communities that I’m excited to see make it in top-level netball,” Edwards said.

Cara Koenen in the new-look Diamonds’ dress. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023 via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Silver Ferns make strong start

Scoring nine unanswered goals to open its game against Trinidad and Tobago, New Zealand

looked sharp in its first outing, winning 76-27, but didn’t have it all its own way.

The Ferns only won the third quarter 15-9 and converted just 64% of 22 gains into goals.

Grace Nweke shot 31/31 in a half and Gina Crampton led all-comers in the midcourt.

Captain Ameliaranne Ekenasio said “in patches, I think we did our job really well and I was

proud of what we put out.”

“But in other patches, I think we could have been better in being a little more clinical and more controlled with ball in hand but it’s good to get the first one out of the way,” Ekenasio said.

It was a win for New Zealand, with plenty of room for improvement. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)Source: Getty Images

Flying Fadoju leads Roses

England made what coach Jess Thirlby described as a “solid start” with a dominant 90-29 win over Barbados on day one.

“Whilst we’re not getting carried away with the scoreboard, one of the learnings for us was to be more consistent quarter-on-quarter, irrelevant of changes, and I think we got stronger with each quarter,” Thirlby said.

Funmi Fadoju, named MVP in her World Cup debut after coming on at goal defence in the third, finished with two gains and two deflections.

“I’m so happy to have got out there and to have played with the girls. We’ve all worked so hard for this. Everyone gave their all, had fun, played freely and we worked on the connections we know are there,” she said.

Fadoju, who picked off an athletic rebound within seconds of entering the game, is still getting used to playing with her childhood idol.

“Every day I’m like: ‘I can’t believe I’m playing with Geva Mentor!’ She’s so supportive and such a strong person to have back there (at goal keeper). I love her leadership on court. She’s always high-fiving us and cheering us on. I love playing with her,” she said.

England made a solid start. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)Source: Getty Images

Protea Venter near-perfect

With Lenize Potgieter under something of an injury cloud, South Africa turned to Ine-Marie Venter to cover shooter against Wales and the 192cm Pretoria native didn’t let her coach Norma Plummer down.

Venter shot 43/47 in the Proteas’ 61-50 win. Plummer labelled Venter’s growth as phenomenal. “She had outstanding shooting for us,” Plummer said of the MVP performance.

Despite the win, Plummer wasn’t entirely satisfied.

“It was a win, not what I necessarily would call a convincing win. I thought our first quarter was sensational but then the Welsh notched it up in the second and third quarters.

“We started spraying balls and that was disappointing. There’s a lot of information that we now have and that we can use and work on,” the Australian legend said.

The host nation’s next game is against Jamaica.

Ine-Mari Venter of South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023 via Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

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