Malawi national netball team yesterday put the nation to shame after losing all their three matches at the on-going Fast5 World Netball Series in Merbourne, Australia.
The Queens were hammered 39-43 by hosts Australia’s Diamonds in the opening match of the tournament.
Having last beaten Australia in 2012 at the Fast5, the result was understandable, hoping that the team would recover in their second game.
But the Queens went on to lose 15-43 to England, a team they beat last year at the same tournament.
Another disaster awaited the Queens in their last game of the day, losing 24-31 to Jamaica, another team they beat in the 2016 edition.
But the results were a perfect reflection of the team’s performance in the matches.
The Queens lacked a fighting spirit. Their body language spoke volumes of their morale.
They played like tired old women whose bones squeak when they shuffle around due to age.
The team was disjointed and barely troubled their opponents. They kept on misplacing passes and lacked precision at the ring.
Shooter Joyce Mvula and goal-attacker Jane Chimaliro, hugely relied on one-point goals. No wonder, in all three matches the Queens posted less than 30 baskets.
Following the losses, Queens perch at the bottom of the six-team table, with no point and can forget about retaining bronze they won last year, even if they win their last matches against South Africa and New Zealand today.
There was no comment from Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) officials, including president Khungikile Matiya and general secretary Carol Bapu, who are with the Queens in Australia.
But Queens centre Takondwa Lwazi promised to improve in the last two matches.
She said: “We tried, but unfortunately we have lost so we have accepted it because each day, it’s a new game to everyone. So, you can say that, although our day is done, but we’ll try our best tomorrow so that we make up for the mistakes we have made today.”
But back home there has been an outcry as Queens diehards feel vindicated that the team needed star shooter Mwawi Kumwenda, who was expelled for reporting late for camp.
Netball analyst Thokozani Namasala said apart from losing, the gap in the scores are too big.
“Any reasonable, objective and patriotic Malawian will certainly see that this is a down trend,” he said.