Magpies Guide: Birmingham Day 4 update

7 days ago

With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games well underway, we take a look at how our four representatives are tracking so far.

Sophie Taylor

It has been a huge start to the Commonwealth Games, with all four of our Collingwood representatives - and coach, Nicole Richardson - still remaining undefeated.

Australia, England and Jamaica have all produced dominant victories as the competition heats up, with all three topping the two Pools, and Jamaica only second to Australia in Pool A by goal percentage.

All four of our competitors - Ash Brazill (Australia), Geva Mentor (England), Shimona Nelson and Jodi-Ann Ward (Jamaica) - have had ample court-time throughout the event thus far, with plenty of impressive stats to back up their performances.

All three nations had a scheduled day off on Day 3, resting ahead of a blockbuster few days.

FULL FIXTURE: Magpies Guide: Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Australia

Game 1: Australia (95) defeated Barbados (18)
Game 2: Australia (83) defeated Scotland (30)

Ash Brazill

Our Magpies co-captain has shone on the international stage, proving more than capable of taking a starting bib for the Diamonds.

Brazill has played equal time in wing defence and centre throughout the first two matches, showcasing her ball-winning ways while also providing some impressive feeds into the goal circle with her excellent vision and smarts.

Against Barbados during Game 1, Brazill was virtually unstoppable with her athleticism, collecting three intercepts and three deflections across 45 minutes. She also registered five goal assists and just four penalties.

Against Scotland, Brazill opened her bag of tricks to provide seven goal assists - despite only playing one quarter of centre. She also collected a handy intercept and made four crucial deflections to spark up the midcourt.

Brazill and her Diamonds will go again on Monday night at 9pm AEST, taking on South Africa in arguably Australia's biggest test yet.

England

Game 1: England (74) defeated Trinidad and Tobago (22)
Game 2: England (66) defeated Malawi (41)

Geva Mentor

Our other co-captain has been just as impressive throughout the first two matches, with Mentor not skipping a beat at her sixth Games.

Our English centurion is a constant in the defensive goal circle with her reliability under pressure and long arms over the shot.

In Game 1 against Trinidad and Tobago, Mentor was pivotal with two intercepts (five gains) across 30 minutes, teaming up with Layla Guscoth to reduce the opposition to just three goals in an outstanding second quarter.

Although tested in patches by Malawi in Game 2, the Roses were undeniable with Mentor's influence and experience again proving crucial. With an intercept and two deflections to speak for her 46 minutes on court, Mentor was relentless in the back-end.

England will play Northern Ireland next in an intriguing encounter on Tuesday morning, at 3am AEST.

Jamaica

Game 1: Jamaica (72) defeated Wales (43)
Game 2: Jamaica (68) defeated South Africa (49)

Jodi-Ann Ward

Jamaica has a stacked and flashy defensive end, but that has not stopped Ward from showcasing just what she is capable of - shutting down her direct opponent at every turn.

While not rewarded with a clean intercept during Game 1 against Wales, Ward was a reliable ball-winner with her three deflections and continued midcourt pressure which forced errors from the opposition.

Rotating out to wing defence after starting in the goal circle, our ball-winning assassin was unafraid of the physicality and offered a composed option in transition to attack.

Ward registered three gains, three pick-ups and just four penalties against an arguably tougher opponent in Game 2,playing all her 45 minutes against South Africa out in wing defence.

Shimona Nelson

Nelson may be starting behind Jamaican captain Jhaniele Fowler, but has not disappointed when taking the court during her debut Games.

Playing 30 minutes against Wales, Nelson shot at an impeccable 100 percent (29/29) and collected two rebounds throughout the second half.

Providing a strong target, Nelson was just as reliable during the second match against South Africa, putting on another complete performance with 14 goals from 14 attempts, despite only playing 20 minutes.

Composed and accurate as ever, Nelson has proved more than capable of holding down the goal shooter position where required.

Jamaica will look to go three from three against Barbados on Monday night, set to take the court at 11pm AEST.

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