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15 July 2019 | Uncategorized

Warriors’ confidence remains despite close defeats – Drayne

Northern Ireland's Michelle Drayne says confidence is still high within her team, but admitted to being 'gutted' as they suffered a second narrow loss in successive days.

Following yesterday’s nail-biting 51-49 reverse against Zimbabwe, Dan Ryan’s side lost their opening Group F game 47-43 against Malawi this morning.

The nature of the two defeats has been tough to take, Drayne conceded:

“We’re just gutted. We got it back to two in that third quarter, after it pulled out to about six at one point I think, and we thought we had it, but we just made a few sloppy errors at the start of the fourth. We clawed it back again but it was just too late.

“We went into that last quarter full of belief – we’d got it back to two after having that dip and we went out there fully thinking we could do it. It’s just one turnover, one change of possession.

“Unfortunately they’re very good at keeping the ball – they’re very safe with it, and I think sometimes we weren’t safe enough with it; maybe we should have passed it around a bit.”

Despite the setbacks, Drayne believes that the Warriors can take plenty of belief into their remaining Group F fixtures. After facing New Zealand tomorrow, they take on Barbados on Thursday.

Drayne added:

“There’s still a lot of confidence in the group. We’ve only lost by two and by four – we haven’t been hammered, it’s different when you get hammered. So there’s still a lot of confidence and belief, so we just have to go out there and put that performance together.

“Against New Zealand we’ll probably try a few combinations and run the bench a lot more. It’s a chance to try different stuff but also to work on our structures and make sure we see them through.

“Realistically we know it’s not a game we’re going to win, but we really want to put up a good contest and a good fight, and to challenge and annoy them – make them think and not let them have a free-flowing game.”