As it happened: Silver for the Black Sticks

NZ Herald,
Gold Coast 2018,
Publish Date
Saturday, 14 April 2018, 10:51AM
The Black Sticks lost 2-0 to Australia in the Commonwealth Games final. (Photo: Photosport)
The Black Sticks lost 2-0 to Australia in the Commonwealth Games final. (Photo: Photosport)

Outclassed Black Sticks finish with silver

The Commonwealth Games men's hockey final proved a step too far for New Zealand as they slumped to a 2-0 loss to Australia.

Silver is still an outstanding performance within the context of the tournament.

Coming in, New Zealand were ranked ninth in the world, and fourth in this event behind Australia, India and England.

They have exceeded expectations.

Silver Ferns to battle for bronze

Mark this down as New Zealand netball's worst Commonwealth Games.

Three losses on the Gold Coast, the latest to Australia in the semifinal, and yet the Silver Ferns somehow remain in contention for an unlikely bronze.

Even that looks a long way off after Jamaica pushed England all the way in the other semi. 
Setting aside the mediocrity the Ferns fight for bronze, even that colour medal would fall well short of expectations for a team that's claimed two golds and three silver medals previously.

Losing to Australia, defending champions, is no surprise on the back of defeats to Malawi and England in pool play. But the fact a pasting is now a formality has rendered a once mighty rivalry tenuous.

Under Janine Southby, the Ferns have now lost nine of their past 11 against Australia. This was merely the latest in Southby's fast unravelling tenure – all sense says she has one game left before the SOS is sent to Noeline Taurua, if it hasn't already.

Tall Ferns earn bronze

The Tall Ferns coasted to a 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medal with their 74-58 defeat of Canada.

Hours after their male Tall Blacks counterparts were upset by the Canadians in their semi-final, the Ferns made no such mistake.

They raced out to an early 16-12 first-quarter lead, with Micaela Cocks dictating proceedings, and stretched their lead to eight by half-time.Their third quarter was even more dominant, as Cocks made space for Natalie Taylor to drain several three-pointers and help her side to a 57-39 advantage.

From that point, victory - and Games bronze - was a mere formality, despite a late Canadian surge to come within 10 points of New Zealand.

The 35-year-old Taylor notched 18 points by the match's end, all of which from behind the three-point line, while Cocks earned 16.

Charlisse Leger-Walker also chipped in with 18 points late on.Kalani Purcell dominated the boards for seven defensive rebounds, getting her side out of jail against Canada's tall centres, particularly Ruth Hamblin. The Kiwis made 28 defensive rebounds in total.

Another medal for King and Coll

Kiwi squash stars Joelle King and Paul Coll nabbed a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in the mixed doubles. The pair, who earned gold and silver respectively in the singles stakes, were dumped out of Friday's semi-final but cruised in Saturday's play-off.

They crunched English pairing Alison Waters and Daryl Selby 11-6 11-6 in just 27 minutes, dominating from first point to last.

They'll now pick up the bronze medal - following on the 29-year-old King's mixed doubles silver medal at the 2010 New Delhi Games.

It's Coll's first squash doubles medal at the Games.

Earlier in the day, King and women's doubles partner Amanda Landers-Murphy kept themselves in the gold-medal hunt by winning their semi-final.

King and Landers-Murphy dispatched Australians Donna Urquhart and Rachael Grinham 11-9 11-5, cruising through in 20 minutes, and will be favourites against India's Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the final.

Cui fails to make a splash

Kiwi diver Elizabeth Cui has finished last in the final of the Commonwealth Games women's 3m springboard event.

Cui could only manage a score of 247.10 from her five dives on Saturday evening, her best a first-round back two-and-a-half somersault. She finished 12th in the 12-strong final field, with Canadian Jennifer Abel taking out the gold medal with a score of 366.95. She had qualified on Saturday morning in 10th position, scoring 241.20.


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