Sluggish Singapore succumb 75-32 to world No. 10 Trinidad and Tobago
Coach Aitken admits her side were sluggish against world No. 10 Trinidad and Tobago
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO 75
REPORTING FROM SYDNEY
Perhaps it was fatigue, or maybe they were still reeling from the heartbreaking defeat by Samoa on Tuesday.
Singapore's netball team never recovered from a slow start in their 75-32 Netball World Cup Pool G loss to Trinidad and Tobago at the Allphones Arena in Sydney Olympic Park yesterday.
The South-east Asia Games and Asian champions were 13-3 down after about 10 minutes of the first quarter.
They picked themselves after the poor start, but a victory against the world No. 10 side was always going to be a tall order.
Said Singapore coach Ruth Aitken: "There's no doubt that Trinidad and Tobago are a very good side...
"We were probably a bit flat in the first quarter and just struggled to find space, whether that was a response from yesterday or not I don't know."
The Republic, ranked 15th in the world, finished the first period 21-8 down, and the New Zealander responded by bringing on Ang Shiqi and Shelby Koh for goalkeeper Chen Lili and wing attack Kimberly Lim at the break.
She also made minor reshuffles to the remaining players on court.
That resulted in a better flow for Singapore, with some good passages of play.
However, Trinidad and Tobago were still a class above their opponents and went into half-time 41-17 ahead.
Aitken said: "We just struggled to find space in the first quarter, and I thought Shelby did well when she came on to open us up.
"We were playing quite conservatively, quite close together, and the opposing defenders worked off each other very well."
Koh, 20, added: "I thought we did pretty well. Trinidad and Tobago started pretty strongly, but we gave them a good fight.
"The girls who came off the bench really got themselves into the game.
"We always go into a game wanting to win, even though the teams in the World Cup are all very strong.
"It was just too bad we didn't get the result we wanted, but Trinidad and Tobago deserved the win."
With the game all but lost, former New Zealand coach Aitken started rotating all 12 players on court in the second half, with a view on upcoming matches.
She said: "It's about making sure that all 12 players are still connected to each other on court, and it can be hard if you're not playing much for two or three games.
"It's (also) a bit about resting legs, especially our defenders, because in games like these, we have very good attacking opposition.
"Our defenders play a very explosive game and, for them to be able to continue explosively, they'll need enough recovery time to keep their legs as fresh as possible."
They have a rest day today before finishing up their Pool G campaign against Zambia tomorrow.
Thereafter, the Singaporeans will finish the tournament with two classification games over the weekend.
- Pool E: New Zealand 58 Malawi 49
- Pool F: England 78 Wales 33, Australia 66 South Africa 31
- Pool G: Trinidad and Tobago 75 Singapore 32, Samoa 55 Zambia 53
- Pool H: Fiji 48 Barbados 37, Scotland 59 Sri Lanka 48
- Pool E: Jamaica v Uganda
- Pool G: Trinidad and Tobago v Samoa
- Pool H: Barbados v Sri Lanka, Scotland v Fiji