Both Coaches had the same Dilemma
Catherine Cox and Casey Williams. Who to keep on and who to take off.
New Zealand came out with a hiss and a roar and they looked so mechanical and confident. Norma must have just wanted to put her head in her hands as the first five minutes unfolded but never under estimate an Aussie Netballer. The girls clawed their way back into the match and again it was Game On.
Now this was probably one of the toughest decisions Norma had to make and equally tough for Ruth.As a coach you become close to your players and in the case of Captains and Vice Captains you do become close friends. The Coach, especially at this level, confides in her captaincy team and depends on their loyalty and commitment. The Coach has put them in the captaincy position because she trusts them. I’ve played under Ruth and been her Captain. She is open and honest and would have asked Casey was she right to play. Throughout the game Ruth would have approached Casey at the breaks to see if she was up to staying on. Casey is a serious character and would walk on glass to be in that final. They don’t come any tougher and a calf injury is a very painful injury. Ruth should know as it finished her own playing career. Ruth and Casey would have decided she was right to finish the match and as Ruth trusts her Captain and she would not have liked to drag her in the final of the World Championships. It’s hard to drag your Captain when the loss really could have been blamed on a missed shot not a calf injury.
Norma had her own tough decision to make. Cath Cox, Norma’s loyal Vice Captain, had played so well during the lead up to the final. Named in the starting seven, Cath came out with her calm, casual look and nailed some beautiful shots. Then the wheels started to fall off as pressure was coming from a frantic WA causing Cath to run around and then we all know what happens next, Cath starts to miss her shots. Maybe Chelsea should have started at WA to stop Cath from running around but that’s all in the past now. It’s not as if Norma encourages her GS to run around as Caitlin owned under the post and only ventured out a couple of times.
So the big call came from Norma. Cath off, Caitlin on. Kim off, Chelsea on. I know there were crucial defensive changes yet this one would have hurt the Coach. Norma took off her loyal Vice Captain. One of her most capped and experienced players. She took her off and replaced her with a rookie that had an average lead up to the finals and certainly didn’t shine like Cath had during the previous matches. Cath would have felt sick with disappointment as she removed her bib and handed it to Caitlin but what we all love about Cath is her ability to encourage and support her team. I watched her on the bench and she yelled from the moment she hit the bench to the moment when they all rolled around on the floor.
Norma certainly made the right decision and I believe from that decision alone she is a great Coach. As for Ruth, I don’t believe taking Casey off would have made a difference. Julie Corletto was the thorn in Ruth’s side. Maria Tutaia was completely shut down. I only hope that Ruth continues as the Silver Ferns Coach and Casey Williams heals fast and continues to captain one of the greatest Silver Fern sides we have had the privilege to watch.
Both Coaches had the same Dilemma