England crowned Fast5 champs

England have taken out the Fast5 Netball World Series title at Hisense Arena, becoming only the second country to win in the Fast5 format of the game.

While we were firmly behind our Australian team throughout the tournament, we can’t deny we are THRILLED for a few GIANTS involved with the England team – congratulations to Jo Harten, Tania Obst and Serena Guthrie on being crowned the 2017 Champs.

Extra special kudos to Bob who was named Player of the Tournament – what an incredible 2017 she’s having! Check out Serena’s acceptance interview with Liz Ellis below.

England defeated Jamaica in a thrilling 34-29 Grand Final, which was neck-and-neck until the final quarter where England used their Power Play to full advantage. Jo Harten was particularly influential under the post with two three-pointers and two two-pointers amongst a bevy of single point-goals.

England captain Ama Agbeze felt the attitude of the team was what helped them to success.

“This is absolutely unbelievable. In modern netball, I don’t think England has ever won a gold medal so, this is actually gold to us.

“Just having a laugh always off the court, I think just being light-hearted and that’s pretty much what we’ve done now. We’ve been able to be ourselves.”

After finishing fifth in last year’s tournament, Jamaica was undefeated all tournament, with their only loss in the grand final match.

Hosts Australia (which also featured GIANTS keeper Sam Poolman in her international debut) finished third after defeating reigning champions New Zealand (34-15) for the second time over the weekend, adding to their age-old rivalry.

Despite the result, Australian captain Kate Moloney was proud to step on court in the green and gold.

“It’s an honour to be able to play for Australia, but to be able to lead the Australian Fast5 team was amazing.

“It wasn’t quite the result we were after, but to be able to play in Melbourne in front of a home crowd is great and hopefully next year we can come back and get that gold.”

Almost 9,000 fans flocked to Hisense Arena across the weekend with Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner saying the series was another success in its second year held in Melbourne.

“What an incredible weekend of netball, from the top six netballing nations in the world.

“It’s been a sensational and unpredictable contest, and we congratulate all the participating nations.

“The fans have embraced the fun and excitement of Fast5 Netball, creating such a great atmosphere at Hisense Arena, we can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

2017 Fast5 Netball World Series final rankings

1st            England
2nd           Jamaica
3rd           Australia
4th           New Zealand
5th           South Africa
6th           Malawi

Check out all the statistics from the weekend, thanks to Champion Data.