Sasha Corbin of Barbados shoots at goal during the Netball World Cup 2023 Pool B match between Scotland and Barbados. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

NWC Day Two: Challengers start to rise to the test

The Netball World Cup is here, and play is continuing in the pinnacle event. Catch up on all the action with Edge of the Crowd's coverage.

New Zealand v Uganda: 54 to 44

In yesterday's post-match presser, the She Cranes' coach Fred Mugerwa was pleased but still saw room for improvement in Uganda's game. Against a much tougher Silver Ferns line-up, the She Cranes were able to stay just behind, before the Ferns had a final quarter kick to leave with a ten-point win.

Game experience like this is vital for Uganda's future success in the netball world, as they do not often get to play highly-ranked teams. If they can deliver the consistency they showed in the Day 1 game through the tournament, things are looking promising for the She Cranes.

Silver Ferns skipper Ameliaranne Ekenasio shot at 100% in her two quarter cameo. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

The Silver Ferns were pushed by the She Cranes throughout the match, gradually extending their lead each quarter, rather than pulling away early. All the shooters were strong, with accuracy no issue for any of the Silver Ferns, and Whitney Souness hit her stride in goal attack.

Zimbabwe v Fiji: 48 to 52

Fiji were the winners of the first thriller of the World Cup, holding on against a late-charging Zimbabwe who scored nine of the last ten goals to close within four.

Unaisi Rauluni was the most impactful player on the court, carrying a huge load shooting (28 goals) and as a key playmaker (14 centre pass receptions, 28 feeds, 20 goal assists), in what proved to be a match-winning cameo. Raulini's work was enough to give Fiji a big enough lead to hold on.

Zimbabwe will take plenty of positives out of the match, especially the way that they ran out the game, with their fitness proving vital to that fourth-quarter chase. It was a tough third quarter, with six giveaways, where Fiji piled on seven extra goals, making a lead that was never reined in, but there were plenty of bright spots for Fiji.

Claris Kwaramba of Zimbabwe and Unaisi Rauluni of Fiji challenge for possession. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

Australia v Tonga: 85 to 38

The Diamonds continued their dominant start, with a strong performance over the Tonga Tula. Despite some of the big names for Tonga, it wasn't enough to slow down the class all over the court for the top-ranked side in the world.

Australia switched up the combinations for the second match in a row, and for the second match in a row, Sophie Garbin was the most prolific shooter, scoring 42 from her 45 attempts.

Jamie-Lee Price also had a strong game, taking care of the ball, recording only two turnovers in her 53 minutes, while also recording 32 feeds and 20 assists.

Jamie-Lee Price of Australia during the Netball World Cup 2023, Pool A match between Australia and Tonga. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

For Tonga, there were bright spots, but there were signs that they just didn't have the depth to compete with the Diamonds. Mo'onia Gerrard and Hulita Veve were both strong in their defensive efforts, but it wasn't enough to stop the Aussies piling on the pain.

Jamaica v Wales: 75 to 40

For the Sunshine girls, it was another day, another win. While not as dominant as their first performance of the World Cup, Jamaica recorded another strong performance, as the combinations tune themselves up.

Again, Jhaniele Fowler and Romelda Aiken-George shared the load in goal shooter, while Shanice Beckford and Rebekah Robinson worked through goal attack, with all the shooters finding their rhythm and radar.

Romelda Aiken-George competes for the ball during the Netball World Cup 2023 Pool C match between Jamaica and Wales. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

For Wales, they restricted Jamaica well in the back half of the game, but the damage was already done in the first half. For the second day in a row, Bethan Dyke was one of the standouts for the Welsh side, while Nansi Kuti spent time at both ends of the court to try and quell the Sunshine Girls.

South Africa v Sri Lanka: 87 to 32

In a match of milestones, the Proteas continued their strong start. Celebrating Ine-Mari Venter's 50th cap, and Karla Pretorius' 100th cap for the national side, the Proteas stamped on the gas early and kept the pedal on the floor all the way through the match.

Recording 30 gains, 24 more deflections and 12 pickups, the Proteas took advantage of Sri Lanka' carelessness with the ball and punished them for it, setting themselves up for a big win.

Elmeré van der Berg carried the shooting load, with 50 goals from 57 shots, while Lenize Potgieter didn't take the court for the second match in a row, while she struggles under a potential injury cloud.

Elmere van der Berg of South Africa during the Netball World Cup 2023, Pool C match between South Africa and Sri Lanka. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

Phumza Maweni had a much better night with the officials, only recording one penalty in her 15 minutes of action, against Thishala Algama who carried the load for Sri Lanka, with 24 of their 32 goals.

Scotland v Barbados: 53 to 44

Another of the closer games of the round was between the 10th and 14th ranked countries, respectively. With both teams shaking off a loss, it was time for one country to get their first win of the tournament.

After yesterday's close call against Malawi, Scotland were ready to take their second game by the horns and gain valuable experience in the process. With a reasonably young team, the Thistles have a lot to learn, but are already making strides.

Both teams had very similar stats in possession, gains and penalties, bringing the game down to gains-to-goal rate and centre pass conversions. Whilst Barbados was a more accurate team, Scotland managed 15 more attempts at goal, allowing them to create the nine-point buffer.

Barbados and Scotland contested the ball through their match up. (Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

The win puts Tamsin Greenway's squad in a strong position as they look to progress out of the first group stage and make an impact in the tournament.

England v Malawi: 62 to 39

The Roses continued with their strong start to the tournament, posting a big win over Malawi in their second match. Eleanor Cardwell and Helen Housby had strong outings in the circle, while the defenders all recorded good minutes.

Helen Housby of England during the Netball World Cup 2023, Pool B match between England and Malawi. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

Of concern for the Roses will be the 21 general play turnovers, 10 of which were caused by bad hands. Against Malawi, they got away with it, but stronger sides will punish that later in the tournament if it continues.

For Malawi, there were questions over the fact that Mwai Kumwenda played just 15 minutes, and there was confusion about her refusal to come on at half time into the goal attack bib, as Joyce Mvula played a strong game in goal shooter.

Trinidad & Tobago v Singapore: 49 to 36

Trinidad and Tobago have their first win on the board after silencing Singapore in a 15-6 final quarter. As with their game against Uganda, it was the centre pass-to-goal rate (47%) and shooting accuracy (58% with 62 attempts) that really hurt Singapore, compared to the Calypso Girls' 86% with 57 attempts.

Shantel Seemungal of Trinidad and Tobago in action during the Day 2 game. Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023)

Trinidad & Tobago may have been able to increase the lead if they played a cleaner game, with almost double the amount of penalties compared to Singapore. That being said, these penalties contributed to the team's whopping 25 gains, which left them with a penalty-to-gains ratio of 2.3:1, an impressive feat.

Edge of the Crowd's NWC coverage will continue with daily recaps, along with behind-the-scenes content on the Over A Third socials. Find us on Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.