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Malawi Queens will tomorrow start their Fast5 Netball World Series campaign fresh from a 39-43 defeat at the hands of the reigning champions New Zealand’s Silver Ferns in a strength-testing match yesterday.

The Queens will take on hosts and last year’s runners-up Australia in Fast5 opener at Hisense Arena in Melbourne tomorrow before facing England and Jamaica later on the same day. They will be up against rivals South Africa and New Zealand on Sunday.

The Queens battling out New Zealand in a previous Fast5 World Netball Series

Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) was not available for comment on the team’s performance. General secretary Carol Bapu only confirmed the result of the match.

But one of the Queens players, who opted for anonymity, yesterday said they put up a gallant fight.

“It was a matter of team work and determination. We tried hard to outsmart our bigger opponents, but we failed,” she said.

“However, a narrow loss to the six-time champions is a morale booster for us. The team is in good spirit and we are looking forward to a good start to the Fast5 contest this Saturday [tomorrow].”

With the exclusion of Australia-based award-winning shooter Mwawi Kumwenda from the squad due to her late arrival in camp, observers are doubtful if Malawi Queens would repeat or better their historic bronze winning finish at last year’s event.

“The Queens need Mwawi more than she needs the team. If she was part of the squad, that narrow gap could have been filled,” said one observer on social media. n

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