Commonwealth Games 2014: Tearful England fall foul of All Black mentality

England lost possession in the closing stages and Maria Tutaia scored in the final second to clinch a 35-34 win

Glasgow

The king of the track was not in the house, Usain Bolt having decided to concentrate on getting ready for last night’s  4 x 100m relay final rather than take another peek at New Zealand’s netballers. Still, Prince Edward was watching from the stands, and there was television royalty too.

“This is the big one,” Clare Balding told the woman with the court-side mic during the break after the opening quarter. “There’s nothing I’d like to see more than England playing in the gold-medal match.”

The trouble was, in order to do that, England needed to get past the women in black at the semi-final stage yesterday. The New Zealand netball team might go by the name of the Silver Ferns but they are dressed all in black – and, sadly for Ms Balding and the rest of those rooting for a ground-breaking English victory, they have the same granite mentality as their male national rugby union counterparts.

This could have been the Aviva Stadium in Dublin rather than Hall Four of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow, only this time the heartache inflicted by the New Zealanders was at the expense of England’s netballers rather than Ireland’s rugby players.

 

Last November the All Blacks were 22-17 down in the Irish capital with no time left on the clock when they managed to snatch a 24-22 overtime victory from the jaws of what would have been their first-ever loss to Ireland, Ryan Crotty squeezing home for a try in the left corner and Aaron Cruden landing the conversion.

Irish eyes turned from smiling to a flood of tears that might have caused the Liffey to burst. It was the same for England’s netballers on the banks of the Clyde yesterday.

They had a place in today’s gold-medal match within sight with some 15 seconds left on the clock as they stole possession and launched a counterattack. The ball came out to Kadeen Corbin, wide on the left, but England’s goal attack (like her sister and team-mate Sasha, a cousin of Asha Philip, the sprinter who finished fourth in the women’s 100m final on Monday) crucially lost possession.

New Zealand did not blow their chance. They worked the ball to Maria Tutaia, their substitute goal attack, and with two seconds remaining she dispatched her decisive shot.

There was just a second left when the ball passed through the hoop. When it bounced off the floor that was it. The final score on the board flashed up: New Zealand 35 England 34.

Instead of becoming the first side to break the Anzac stranglehold on gold and silver in Commonwealth Games netball (New Zealand and Australia have contested all four finals, the Kiwis winning the most recent two), poor Corbin and Co, who led by three goals at one stage in the final quarter, were broken women.

They left the arena in tears, just as they had done a week earlier. On that occasion the shot that consigned them to a 49-48 pool defeat against Australia had been sunk with 15 seconds left. Rather than going for gold and revenge against the Aussies today, England will be attempting to lift themselves for the bronze-medal match against Jamaica.

“Gutted is probably the word I’m going to use continuously but I am very proud,” England’s coach, Anna Mayes, said. “This is the best England side there’s ever been and we genuinely believed we could take the semi-final and be playing off for gold tomorrow. We need to turn it around and deal with the emotions that we have now, and that’s what we will be doing.

“The girls will come out all guns blazing tomorrow. I will guarantee you that.”

What can certainly be relied upon is that the Silver Ferns will bring an All Black mentality to the final against their trans-Tasman rivals, who overcame Jamaica 57-42 in the second semi-final

Asked whether she feared  New Zealand might have blown it when England attacked with the scores tied in that final minute, the Kiwis’ wing attack Liana Leota replied: “No, I never thought that. I knew we had the patience and still enough opportunity.

“We practise for situations like that in our training, so we know what the pressure is going to be like, how to absorb it and what structures to put in place. We  are prepared.”

As it happened, Leota’s husband was busy in sporting preparations of his own yesterday, getting ready for the new Aviva Premiership rugby union season.

“He’s in training in Manchester today but he’ll be here tomorrow,” she said.

Johnny Leota is a powerhouse centre with Sale Sharks, a team-mate of Danny Cipriani. Like his wife, he plays on the international sporting stage – but for the big-hitting Samoans rather than the ruthless All Blacks.

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Pensions Administrator

£23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: I am currently recruiting level 3 n...

Are you a Teacher interested in Special Needs?

£110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified Teacher w...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album