Netball star Nat Metcalf not showing complacency as England look continue Commonwealth win streak

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Commonwealth Games - Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - Glasgow, Scotland - 3/8/14 
Netball - Shanice Beckford of Jamaice and Sara Bayman of England in the Bronze medal Womens Netball 
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Harding 
Livepic 
EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
Commonwealth Games - Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games - Glasgow, Scotland - 3/8/14 Netball - Shanice Beckford of Jamaice and Sara Bayman of England in the Bronze medal Womens Netball Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Paul Harding Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

By James Reid in Birmingham

Keighley netball star Nat Metcalf insists England must be on top form in order to continue their winning start at the Commonwealth Games after a comfortable 71-27 win over Northern Ireland.

England were in complete control against the Warriors, establishing an early lead that they never let go of at the NEC Arena in Birmingham.

They next face Uganda, and Metcalf knows all about the threat they pose, having faced attackers Mary Cholhok and Peace Proscovia in action while in club duty.

And 29-year-old Metcalf warned against any complacency from the hosts ahead of their game on Tuesday.

"I think Uganda have been playing some beautiful netball so it's about us trying to breakdown their game.

“They've got such a target at the back so it's about us looking at our gameplan and how to shut that down."

It was a sentiment echoed by England legend Jade Clarke, who knows her side must once more adapt.

"I think we'll have to switch mindsets back to the Ugandan style,” added Clarke, who is England’s most-capped netballer of all time.

“We watched them against New Zealand and they were really good at just keeping hold of the ball so we'll have to try a few new things."

Manchester Thunder attacker Eleanor Cardwell shot a huge 40 goals, while mid-courter Clarke was in fine form playing at centre, and had to be as she came up against one of the world’s very best in Caroline O’Hanlon.

“I love playing Caroline O'Hanlon,” added Clarke.

“I think she's one of the best centres in the world. It was a great challenge for me to come up against her.”

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

England chopped and changed their line-up in Birmingham, and head coach Jess Thirlby insisted it was all part of the plan.

“For the fans watching, they most probably wonder what we’re doing but every change that we put out there is really purposeful,” said Thirlby.

“We’re trying to manage a squad effectively in tournament conditions and that is part of my role whilst trying to also build confidence.

“I think game on game we are definitely building confidence in terms of what we’re able to put out tactically as well as how we’re able to counteract the strengths of the opposition that we’re coming up against, and we’re still able to do that having rolled out all twelve players in three matches.”

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