Housby & Harten turn their focus to the semi-finals

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As England displayed another brilliant performance to beat Barbados 69-27, they confirmed their spot in the 2014 Commonwealth Games semi-finals.

Helen Housby, the young player that slotted in beautifully as GA for the second half yesterday, said “It was really important to end the group stage on a high. It gives us a lot of confidence going into a massive match on Saturday and hopefully an even bigger match on Sunday, so it’s really good to finish off strong.”

“It’s amazing to get more court time and I was really pleased to get a full half. I think it helps you settle into the game and get more of a feel to play against different oppositions”.

There have been a lot of different shooting combinations played in the group stage. Helen said “I feel comfortable playing with anyone in that circle. It’s not just in the tournament that we’ve been trying these out but also in the build-up. All of the combinations are working well, are very different and really good to play within. I’m definitely always ready and able to step into the game if called upon. I’ve had some good experiences and feel confident with my game”.

Looking ahead to the semi-final against New Zealand, England have a couple of rest days to get reinvigorated. Housby commented on how the team will prepare: “It’s important to have a bit of a day off tomorrow to rest your legs and rest your mind. We need to come into Friday’s training really strong as we know it’s going to be a massive game on Saturday. I think we need to really attack the video analysis and gain any advantages we can.”

“The fans can expect a lot from the team, as you saw by watching the Australia game earlier on in the week. We won’t go easy and are looking for that gold medal so definitely tune in for that.”

Jo Harten gave another fantastic performance yesterday. She said “I’m pretty pleased that individually we did some really good stuff out there. I thought Stacey Francis came on and had a really good game. We still had a few ups and downs, but we tried to finish them off and that’s what we did.”

“In some way that was one of our most vital performances as it’s our lead into the semi-finals. It was really important that we had a good game and got the win going into our two rest days before we face NZ on Saturday”.

Harten had shooting accuracy of over 92% against the Bajan’s yesterday. She said “It’s good to get back to those percentages. We were able to take a bit of pressure off, have a bit of fun and get a really good result”.

With Saturday’s game in sight, the shooter commented: “Tomorrow will be a physical day off with recovery in the morning, familiarisation with the Hydro for Sunday, and then back into training mode on Friday morning. It’s about being clever about what we do on and off the court, and staying together as a team. On Saturday, we’re going to put out a massive fight, push New Zealand all the way and be in that final”.

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