As expected, The Malawi National Netball Team lost to the Australia Diamonds yesterday by 74 to 25, with this result New Zealand and Australia are in 2019 Netball World Cup semi-finals and Malawi will only fight for 5th place.
At the moment in Group F, defending champions and World’s number one team Australia is leading with 8 points, on second position is New Zealand with 8 points and Malawi Queens which beat Northern Ireland 47 – 43 baskets is third in the group with 4 points. This includes 2 points Malawi Queens got after beating Barbados. Zimbabwe is on fourth position and anchoring the table is Barbados.
At all costs Malawi should avoid losing to Zimbabwe. Malawi Queen need to make sure they beat Zimbabwe to remain on third position and hope that Australia should beat New Zealand. As they stand, it is most likely that the first semi-final will be between Australia and South Africa while England is expected to meet New Zealand. In 5th and 6th playoff, it might be Malawi (if they beat Zimbabwe) to meet Uganda.
The 2019 Netball World Cup format
International Netball Federation introduced complex format at this year’s tournament which requires teams to be at their best all the times. In the new format, teams will compete in three stages; the Preliminary Stage I, Preliminary Stage II, the Play-offs and Placings matches.
At the preliminary stage, Malawi Queens were in Group B where they played 3 matches losing to world’s number four netball team New Zealand (45-64), then Malawi Queens beat Singapore (87-38) and lastly Malawi beat Barbados (65-41) which helped Malawi Queens to upgrade to Preliminary Stage II. In the second stage, they have been placed in Group F together with defending champions Australia, Zimbabwe, and Northern Ireland and again with New Zealand and Barbados.
Preliminaries Stage Two
The top three teams from Groups A and B formed group F (where Malawi is), and the top three teams from groups C and D formed group G. Where teams in groups F and G have already played each other in the Preliminaries Stage I, they will not repeat. This means rankings will be determined based on results from stage I.
Play-offs and Placings
The teams finishing first and second in groups F and G will go through to the semi-finals, with the top placed team in each group facing the second placed team in the other group. The winners of each semi-final will compete for gold in the final, with the losers playing for bronze.
The teams finishing third and fourth in groups F and G will compete for final positions fifth to eighth – third in one group plays fourth in the other – with the winners playing off for fifth place and the losers for seventh. The teams that finish fifth in groups F and G will play off for ninth and 10th places. The teams that finish last in groups F and G will play off for 11th and 12th places. The teams that finish first and second in group E will play-off for 13th and 14th place and the teams that finish third and fourth in group E will play-off for the 15th and 16th places.