New Zealand’s Maria Folau wants netball cleaned up, saying its morphing into professional wrestlingStar New Zealand shooter Maria Folau wants netball cleaned up at the Commonwealth Games after likening it to professional wrestling.
At her first press call on the Gold Coast, Folau claimed some teams were practising wrestling and rival players were using underhanded physical tactics to negate the skills of the best.
The Silver Ferns goaler, who married Wallabies fullback Israel last November, feared where netball may end up if such negative “tricks” were allowed to continue unabated.
“I know a lot of teams practise wrestling and sometimes that’s what it feels like on the court,” she said at the Games village on Saturday. “The game has changed hugely.
“It’s not WWE (professional wrestling) but a lot of the players’ repertoire, their bag of tricks, is increasing.
“That’s where the game is going, but we have to make sure we keep it clean.”
Defending champions and New Zealand are hot favourites to once again face off in the Games final on April 15, continuing a run that started at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.
Folau is one of the most skilful players in the sport and has been frustrated by defenders who have been allowed to push the boundaries physically.
The Silver Ferns vice-captain, who didn’t refer to any team by name, said players should be rewarded for their speed and ingenuity
“It’s about showcasing your skill, getting around the body (of your opponent) and moving your feet, as opposed to going through the body and knocking each other out,” she said.
Ranked second behind the world champion Diamonds, New Zealand face England as their toughest pool opponents, and start their campaign against Uganda on Thursday.
have the tougher pool with Jamaica and South Africa among their opponents but the South Africans have suffered a major blow with prolific goal shooter Lenize Potgieter ruled out with an ankle injury.