Uganda Finishes Number Five in Fast Five Series!

Uganda’s Netball team, She Cranes has finished Fifth in the Netball Fast Five series played in Christ Church, New Zealand, and ended today. 

She Cranes who were making their debut in the two-day tournament that had slightly different rules, managed to collect four points overall in the five games played in the round-robin tournament.

She Cranes pulled off two wins including a powerful victory against the best Netball country- Australia as well as Jamaica. But they lost to New Zealand, England, and South Africa respectively. 

This new version of netball was introduced in 2008 in order to make games faster and more television-friendly, and the first international series was held in 2009.  

Before going to New Zealand, She Cranes spent almost three weeks of training at Kamwokya to acclimatize to the sport. Despite their inexperience, the Ugandan girls managed to win at least two games, which impressed their head coach, Fred Mugerwa.  

“Beating Australia is a big boost to the girls,”  Mugerwa said. “I believe it helps us so much in our quest for a better ranking before heading to other competitions.  Our girls charged after the game against England, and became extra motivated.”

She Cranes shooter Mary Nuba scooped the accolade of the Fans’ Favorite player of the tournament.  

Full tournament breakdown:

The She Cranes struggled in the opening game, losing 49-32 to hosts New Zealand before rallying to beat Jamaica 33-22 in the second game, giving the team renewed optimism. 

As their momentum grew, the She Cranes suffered another blow when they were crushed 34-38 by England in a dramatic encounter that sparked various controversies and spurred Ugandan officials to file an appeal, which was denied.  

On the second day, the She Cranes rallied back to win a solid 32-30 victory over the world’s best netball Country -Australia, which restored hope but only for a few hours before succumbing to South Africa 22-27 in their final game of the competition.  

But the loss to South Africa in the game they wanted more did not demoralize them completely, as they came back to overcome Jamaica in the classification match, finishing fifth overall.

Team captain, Joan Nampungu equally believes beating Australia is a huge milestone for She Cranes. She commended her teammates for the spirited fight which saw them defeat the world’s best netball team.  

Basics of the tournament;  

This competition is played by the top six national netball teams in the International Netball Federation rankings, and Uganda being ranked sixth in the globe, had the opportunity to compete against fast five countries England, New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, and South Africa.  

Unlike the original form with seven players, the wing defender and wing attacker are omitted in the Fast Five, leaving five players on the court: the center player, goal defender and attacker, goalkeeper, and shooter.  

Additionally, each quarter of the game lasts six minutes, as opposed to 15 minutes in a regular international netball competition, among other differences.  

She Cranes Results in New Zealand

She Cranes  32-49 New Zealand 

She Cranes 33-22 Jamaica 

She Cranes 34-38 England 

She Cranes 32-20 Australia

She Cranes 22-27 South Africa  

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