Tuesday, August 2
•England Vs Uganda – 8pm
Uganda’s senior netball national team, The She Cranes, will return to action on Tuesday against hosts England at the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The Pool B match pits She Cranes against a Vitality Roses side that is ranked number third in World Rankings.
England have won three from as many games so far – Trinidad (74-22), Malawi (66-41) and Northern Ireland (71-27) – scoring 211 and conceding 90 goals in total.
The She Cranes lost to New Zealand 53-40 before making amends with a deserved 62-28 win over Trinidad and Tobago.
And Tuesday’s encounter will see Uganda enter the tie as underdogs having lost to the side in all previous meetings – The Roses beat She Cranes 55-49 at Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, and when the two sides met the following year at the World Cup in Liverpool, Uganda lost 32-64.
But She Cranes will feel that they have closed the gap, and after that display against New Zealand’s Silver Ferns on Saturday, few will doubt that claim.
In fact, She Cranes could have lost by a fewer margin had Peace Proscovia been to her usual best on the day, but much credit will still go to substitute Mary Nuba Cholhok for her output and it remains to be seen who coach Fred Mugerwa will start against an English defence that may have Eboni Usoro-Brown and Stacey Francis-Bayman.
With a huge crowd behind the host nation at National Exhibition centre, She Cranes have all work to do against Jess Thirlby charges and have to remain alert across the four quarters.
The Analysis – Shakira Nassaka (Uganda Netball League MVP)
She Cranes need to adjust on their defense and also need to be patient in their build ups when entering balls in the shooting circle.
They don’t need to rush on offense because England are a better side and it means they have to double their efforts and utilise every opportunity.
I think coach Mugerwa should start Mary Nuba ahead of Peace, mainly because Nuba is taller for starters. Peace has experience yes, but because she is not taller and always mobile, that gives England defence an advantage as well to steal the balls and rebound easily.