Jamaica's Sunshine Girls defeat New Zealand 52-45 to win World Cup bronze medal

By August 06, 2023

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls gifted their country a bronze on Independence Day on Sunday when they defeated New Zealand 52-45 in the play-off for third place at the Netball World Cup in South Africa.

It was the first time that Jamaica was defeating New Zealand twice in the same global tournament relegating the Silver Ferns to their worst ever World Cup result.

Needing to rebound from the disappointment of losing 57-54 to Australia in the semi-finals, which denied them the chance to play for the gold medal, Jamaica took control of the match against the injury-riddled Ferns, who were among the favourites to win the tournament.

The defending champions had lost star shooter Grace Nweke to injury during the pool games and then were hit with an injury to Gina Crampton who was forced to leave the game with an ankle injury.

Jhaniele Fowler scored 43 goals at 98 per cent accuracy to help lead the Sunshine Girls while Shamera Sterling and Jodi-Ann Ward defended stoutly to ensure that the Sunshine Girls would have some consolation from the competition.

Ward said she is proud of the way her team rebounded from the loss to Australia on Saturday.

“We were very disappointed because obviously we wanted to be in the gold-medal match but we had to shake it off and came out here and we’re proud of the girls how they came out here and performed,” she said.

Ward added that the team simply wanted to play well to end the tournament on a high following Saturday’s let-down.

“We, as a unit, just wanted to execute because we didn’t do that very well yesterday (Saturday) so we just wanted to come out and execute as best as we could. Kudos to New Zealand they really put on a performance; they forced us to change a lot of things that we would normally do but I am extremely proud we came out with the win.”

Maia Wilson was the leading scorer for New Zealand with 19 goals.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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