Well as everyone noticed Gina Crampton played outstanding for the Ferns. She plays in the wing attack role. Supporting skipper Ameliaranne Ekanasio in the goal attack. And Goal Shooter Maia Wilson.
She is blessed with the Ferns defensive hard work. When the back three able to spot the Diamonds mistakes in the final third. In which did prevent them from scoring valuable points. So the opposition found trouble catching up the scoreboard.
These back three players gave Crampton every chance to execute. Where Gina was able to navigate from the assistance in mid-court. Such as Sam Winders & Claire Kersten. She communicated with Wilson & Ekanasio. Having found a way to cross into the circle. And let these two pull off towards the net. In which emphasised a lot about her setup/tools in the final third.
She made a whopping 35 feeds in Game 1 tonight. That is the best out of any team combined. And 14 centre pass receives behind Ekenasio of 17. As spoken a bit earlier about the close communication involved. Where she and Ekenasio used this to maintain ball possession. So it does not get stuffed by the Australia with maximum points on the board. Unlike the Diamonds who were unable to match the Ferns front three. Apart from the defense.
She looked after the Silver Ferns defense in the back three tonight. Alongside Jane Watson & Sulu Fitzpatrick. And of course Karin Burger in the subs when required.
Can chase down/block the Diamonds missed chances. When the opposition were hesitant to match the attack that the Ferns have set. That reading received to Winders helped relieve the pressure off both defenders. Hence Sam made a couple of good calls to protect the back 3.
Sam can also go a bit more advance going forward. Not just building every foundation to connect the momentum in the other end. She can also make up long passes too. Either way the Ferns took their chances well in return. And her work rate helped them crack the Diamonds defense.
It says a lot about her talents with plenty of physicality. She is around 24/25 right now. Having gained 37-38 International caps since 2017. Safe to say that Sam is an important player for the Ferns. The work resumes tomorrow for the 2nd Game of this series v Australia. And hopes that the momentum is still there. Like the England series late last year. Sam would like another series win to lift after Sunday.
She fired off to a slow start in the goal keeper role. When the leaked points counted not just against her. But also the entire Australian Diamonds team itself.
Though she played very well tonight as an individual player. Having seen Courtney moved into goal defense. After Sarah Klau came in to play in her old starting role.
Courtney did everything to protect the Diamonds defense. The reading is there as usual. With the Ferns lost some ground against her zone on occasions. And she was able to take advantage of that. Due to her tall reach. Having taken five intercepts in Game one. Which is higher than anyone in the defensive setup. Goes to show impressive physicality & reading.
Despite blocking everything possible from her end defensively. And giving the other end of the Diamonds attacking unit a chance. They unfortunately did not match what the Ferns set up all game. Where there was a lack of execution. Plus a lack of talking up which made them so hesitant. They pretty much let Courtney down who was isolated in return. After each time you see the scoreboard moving without her way. Considering one part of this side is decent. But the other half is not. And it is something that Australia need to bounce back tomorrow in Game 2.