Guthrie – named Player of the Match – was sensational throughout, driving England on as a strong third quarter paved the way for a 56-48 victory.
“Serena is just phenomenal. As an athlete and as a leader, she’s just incredible. She stands up for us in big moments and she leads by example.”
The captain’s display was one of many stand-out performances from an England team that passed its first real challenge of a home World Cup with flying colours.
Of the performance, Housby continued:
“That was very competitive netball – we were going goal for goal, which we maybe haven’t had in this tournament before now, but we knew we were up for it and we knew we were in a good place, and I think we’ve proven that with that performance.
“They say that the third quarter is the championship quarter – that’s where the top teams stand up, and I think we did that. We stuck to process and we showed our fitness out there and kept working hard.”
Today’s opening Group E, F and G fixtures mark the last day on which the action at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena will be spread over two courts, with England’s next game – against Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday – played in front of the entire arena as the tournament moves to a one-court format.
Given the atmosphere created by the home fans so far, Housby is certain that they can continue to spur the hosts and Commonwealth champions on.
“The crowd in here is incredible, and that’s when we’re still split over two courts. I don’t want to know what it will be like when it’s just one court! But the home support has been phenomenal and has felt like an eighth player – they give us so much energy.”