Natalie Metcalf focused on New Zealand after England’s netballers see off Uganda

There is history between the sides after the Kiwis knocked the Roses out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage in 2019.

By Press Association Published: 2 August 2022 - 7.58pm

England netball captain Natalie Metcalf is raring to go against New Zealand after her side maintained their unbeaten start to the Commonwealth Games with a 56-35 win against Uganda.

The reigning Commonwealth champions now have four wins from four games and will take on the Kiwis in their final Pool B match after a tricky challenge against Uganda on Tuesday.

Although the score stood at 25-15 in England’s favour at half-time, the Roses benefitted from some fresh faces after the break and an impressive third-quarter performance saw them extend their lead to 40-24.

They then went on to wrap up the game comfortably, and Metcalf admitted rotation made a big impact.

She said: “For us it’s about being able to come out after half-time and hit our stride again, so credit to the coaches getting all 12 players on the court again and using the rotation.

“In tournament netball I think you’ve got to be able to use your whole squad, so credit to the girls, I thought they really stuck in it and put out a good performance today.

“We want to keep building game-to-game. It’s tournament netball, anyone can beat anyone on their best day, so for us it’s really important that we treat every game with the same mindset, focus on one game at a time, focus on the process and try and enjoy it as well.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Four
England made it four wins from four after beating Uganda on Tuesday (Isaac Parkin/PA)

“It’s already halfway through, it’s flying so fast! We’ve got to be able to enjoy it, embrace the moment, embrace the opportunity and make the most of it.”

England face world champions New Zealand on Thursday and there is history between the sides after the Kiwis knocked the Roses out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage in 2019 before going on to beat Australia in the final.

Metcalf added: “They are (New Zealand) the world champions, they are such a strong side and they have got so many rotations within their squad as well, so for us we’ll definitely have to have a look at their games and see how they are going in the tournament.

“I think it’s going to be a really tough game, but we’re definitely up for it.”

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