First Nations Black Swans Triumph Over Namibia in Pacific Netball Series

First Nations Black Swans Triumph Over Namibia in Pacific Netball Series

The First Nations Black Swans have achieved a significant victory, defeating competition contenders Namibia in a thrilling comeback win to open day four of the Pacific Netball Series at Brisbane’s Nissan Arena. First Nations Black Swans Triumph Over Namibia in Pacific Netball Series

After a neck-and-neck, low-scoring, and high-intensity match, the Black Swans emerged victorious with a score of 45-41.

Namibia, currently ranked 20th in the world, returned to Australia for the first time in three decades and made a strong impression by handing Tonga their first loss after two undefeated, series-winning campaigns. Despite their height and reach advantage, Namibia struggled to secure a win against the resilient Black Swans.

First Nations Black Swans Triumph Over Namibia in Pacific Netball Series

A Tough Start and Strong Finish

The Black Swans trailed Namibia 14-10 at the first break, despite near-perfect shooting from Jamaica Jauncey and Lily Cubby, who converted 11 attempts between them.

“I think they just play a unique style of play…very aerial…they look like they’re not there and then they come at a really good closing speed, last minute. We knew they were going to bring it,” Black Swans captain Tegan Holland said of their opponents and the tough opening quarter.

A huge lift from the group began to close the gap early in the second quarter. Jauncey added another 11 points to her tally for the half. Lightning passing from Courtney Jones, who switched between wing attack and center with Kiera Heffernan, troubled Namibia’s defense. Brook Lacey and the captain combined for three intercepts to tie the game at halftime.

Key Contributions and a Grinding Victory

Jayden Molo contributed six feeds and three goal assists, maintaining a strong response to trail by two at the three-quarter time mark. Charlotte Ryan also made her mark, netting a string of late goals.

In the final quarter, Olivia Clark and Lily Cubby hit eight and six shots respectively, capitalizing on their opportunities and maintaining control towards a grinding win.
Clark (second from right) and Cubby (right) combined for 14 goals in the final quarter to lift their side to a win. (Image: Joseph Guenzler)

Cubby’s mother, who was in the stands, praised the team as “formidable opponents” against international outfits. “They leave it all on the court. And they just keep fighting and keep fighting… They are an absolute inspiration to all the young girls coming through,” she said.

“You need to see it to be it, and we have lots of young First Nations girls out there that are going to see these girls and they’re going to want to be this.”

Reflecting on the Win

Final quarter hero Olivia Clark ranked the win among the best she’s been a part of, especially after holding her nerve under pressure.

“A lot of it’s just remembering why I’m here, and just keeping myself grounded, just remembering to breathe and definitely feeling it from our whole team…just our whole family and mob here supporting us, they definitely help drive that,” Clark told the National Indigenous Times.

“It’s been just amazing. Just to be here, and get to play against not only Namibia, but all these other international players is just amazing. And it’s a first for all of us.”

Holland also praised the defensive efforts of Scarlet Jauncey, Aaleya Turner, Lacey, and others who swapped through the back third, contributing to the whole-team effort.

“​​I’m just so proud of the girls for sticking out the whole 60 minutes,” Holland said. “We’re just so pumped, and the girls have been building all week, so it’s been great to finally put it out on court and gel together.”

Looking Ahead

The Black Swans moved to a 3-1 record for their campaign ahead of their final round match with Samoa. As an invitational side, they are unable to contest in the third place and grand finals match but will feature in the final day of play this Saturday.

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