By AZP Staff
TRINIDAD and Tobago made an inauspicious start to the Vitality Netball World Cup on Friday, going under to South Africa 76-45 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England.
But 40-year-old Rhonda John-Davis, who plays in the attack position, made netball history by becoming the only player to participate in six Netball World Cups.
But beyond that South Africa, ranked fifth in the world, completely outplayed their Caribbean rivals, who are tenth in the world.
The Calypso netballers were outscored in all four quarters of the match 19-15, 21-11, 18-8, 20-11 and trailed 40-26 at half-time.
Also on opening day, fellow Caribbean sides Barbados and second-ranked Jamaica recorded victories beating Singapore 69-34 in the first session of the day,
and Fiji 85-29 respectively.
But on Saturday, in the morning session the Bajan girls were overwhelmed 78-25 by New Zealand.
Joint world champions in 1975 when the world tournament was staged at the Jean Pierre Complex in Mucurapo. T&T are playing in Group “C” which also comprise Jamaica and Fiji.
The top three teams in each group advance to the second round of the preliminaries and T&T are currently tied with Fiji who are yet to gain a point after the opening day’s play.
Later on Saturday, T&T were scheduled to play Jamaica.
Also on Friday, Zimbabwe made history by winning on their World Cup debut. Ranked 14th in the world, the “Gems” beat Sri Lanka 79-49 but otherwise there were mixed results for the three United Kingdom teams in their opening group matches.
England swept Uganda 64-32, Scotland defeated Samoa 53-35, but Northern Ireland suffered a heavy defeat 88-24 against defending champions Australia.
The English lasses, ranked third in the world, earned bronze in 2015 and come into this tournament on home soil as one of the favorites following their gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Australia are the most successful team in Netball World Cup history, having won 11 titles.
Their long-time rivals New Zealand, who have lifted the trophy on four occasions but have slipped to fourth in the rankings, started with a 64-45 victory over Malawi.