Worlds is run and done for 2016. The Firetails finished a respectable 5th out of the 26 nations competing in the women’s division. Here’s a run down of the week for us.
We played New Zealand Whaitiri and Team Canada in warm-up games the week prior to WUGC.
v New Zealand Whaitiri we won 14-8. Played in the historic town of Bath the conditions were wet, with a stoppage due to electrical storm activity.
v Team Canada we won 10-9. It was only a 50 minute game, and our long game, which hadn’t really existed for most of the campaign was on point.
v Spain we won 15-1. It was the first time Spain had sent a Women’s Team to WUGC. The conditions were a little breezy. Winky sat this game out to keep the legs fresh for later in the week.
v Italy we won 15-7. It had been raining heavily through the first time slot and the fields were very wet. The rain continued through this game though not as heavily. Rachel got this game off as a birthday present (or maybe to keep her going for later in the week).
v Philippines we won 15-3. The rain cleared off and the wind picked up for the afternoon’s game. Prentice sat this game out to let some bruising/shoulder issues settle down from an amazing layout the day before.
v Colombia we lost 11-13. We went down 2-0 to start, then went on a 5 point run to be up 5-2. Despite numerous possessions during the next down-wind point we were unable to convert. We also lost Ash Martens during this point to a broken hand from a layout D. This was the beginning of a 6-1 run to Colombia who took half 8-6. The second half had less runs but we were unable to peg back the 2 point deficit – Colombia gave us plenty of disc but we were unable to put it into the endzone.
Video of this game available from a Colombian facebook stream:
v Russia we lost 12-15. We went down 3-1 at the start of the game and from there traded until the second last point. The Russians’ long game connected on everything and we didn’t generate many turn-overs.
That left us ranked 3rd in our pool and going into pre-quarters against the 2nd ranked team from Pool B.
v Finland we won 15-9. We only scored 6 of our 10 starting offence points, but we scored 9 of our 14 starting defensive points. We were able to exert a lot of pressure around the disc and force the turn-overs. We were up 11-5 when the Finns went on a 4 point run causing us a little bit of pressure but from there we closed out the game with a 4 point run of our own.
Due to where we’d finished in pool play we now had a more difficult run through the quarters ending up in the 1 v 8 game against Japan, the defending women’s champions. Having played Japan at Dream Cup in March we were reasonably comfortable leading into the game. The night before the quarter-finals there was torrential rain and most of the fields at the tournament venue were under water. All games for positions below the quarters were cancelled for the day.
v Japan we lost 6-15. While there was some uncertainty about the time and location of where we were playing due to rain we were at the fields with plenty of time to do our standard warm-up. We scored the first point but then Japan got 6 in a row. We clawed back a couple to give a half-time score of 8-4. The Japanese were clinical on O and hitting all their long shots with precision. We had too many basic errors to be competitive in a game where Japan wasn’t giving back the disc. We lost Georgia Ewan to a knee injury during this game after she was landed on by a Japanese player. Monty also stopped playing part way through this game due to a calf injury.
5-8 bracket play-offs
We were ranked 8 coming into the bracket play-offs and really hoping that games weren’t going to be cancelled as we wanted the opportunity to win through to fifth. Fortunately our bracket was allowed to play our last two games, unlike many teams in the tournament due to many fields being unplayable because of the rain.
v Germany we won 15-10. Germany had been on our scouting list prior to WUGC so we knew a bit about them coming into the game. There were a number of breaks in the first few points before we settled into trading. It felt like we should have been in a more dominant position than 8-7 at half time. Our execution picked up in the second half to close out the game strongly.
Video of this game available from the Firetails facebook page: Germany game
v Russia we won 15-8. Keen to claim 5th and also to get revenge for the earlier loss had us fired up going into this game. Again, a couple of breaks from each team started the game. We then traded until just before half, where we got a couple in a row to take half 8-6. In the earlier game all of Russia’s long shots had come off. Now at the back end of the tournament, with some fatigue setting in, and perhaps a better defensive plan from us, we were able to generate turnovers.
Video of this game available from Firetails facebook page:
We were ranked sixth equal in the women’s division, and were the highest ranked team from the top 8 finishers.