"THE SMILES KEPT US GOING" DEBUTANTES ISRAEL DELIGHT IN OPENING EXPERIENCE
Title holders Australia demolished newcomers Israel, putting over 100 goals between the two teams to take an unequivocal 123 - 6 win, but the spirited Isrealis stayed positive throughout.
Israel's players average at just 16.8 years old, compared with the more experienced Australians at 19.5 years (several of whom play semi professional netball in the ANZ Championship), but despite this Israel braved the Australians and though they lacked height, fitness and skill, mentally they showed strength and courage to keep their heads up for 60 minutes.
The Australians boasted former Australia basketball international Gretel Tippett at GA, standing 6 ft 3 tall, with an array of passes in her armoury, and 6 ft 5 Kristina Brice partnering Tippett in the circle.
Helped by their team mates, Tippett and Brice notched up 29 goals in the first fifteen minutes.
Australia's flair shone in their ability to pick off Israeli passes at all opportunities, and in their solid shooting performances which averaged at 89%.
Israel's first goal was met with loud cheers from the supporters and bench, and they echoed this on the final whistle, shooting their sixth and final goal seconds before the end of the game.
Their joy in competing against Australia showed on all their faces, and if you hadn't seen the scoreboard, you might have thought they won the game.
Captain Nomi Komar said the team enjoyed the encounter greatly. "It felt really good. It was really hard, but fun."
"Our team is really spiritual" said Komar. "We have fun together. We love each other so much!"
Editorial courtesy Harriet Millard, Planet Netball
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