French defensive intensity sinks Opals in World Cup opener
The Australians were found wanting in the face of the French aggressiveness, but will an uptick in intensity be enough against the other heavy hitters?
Credit: Michelle Couling Photography
They came in Wallabies jerseys. They came in Socceroos jerseys. They came in Boomers jerseys, generic Australia T-shirts and jackets, and whatever green and gold attire they had hanging in the wardrobe. The “Jackson 25” Opals jerseys were selling like hotcakes (and The Pick and Roll’s own LJ GOAT T-shirts also made more than a few appearances), but it was obvious: The Opals’ World Cup opener had drawn a crowd that extended far beyond the women’s basketball community.
Of course, many of them had been drawn to the occasion by Jackson’s return, with the change in volume during team announcements as the Aussie GOAT jogged onto the court utterly ear-shattering. However, this crowd was well and truly behind the Opals as a team rather than any one individual player, as the Australians looked to get off to a flyer against a French side now missing Marine Johannes from their original squad, but with Iliana Rupert and Gabby Williams coming in since last week’s test event.
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