Following their victories over Finland, Great Britain has been roughed up a bit recently by Austria and France in Group play. Last Wednesday they lost to Austria 30-20 and yesterday they got smoked by France 42-16. Despite the lopsided scores, though, there are some positives that can be taken away. A 10 goal loss on the road in Austria is a measure of respectability. Certainly, there’s no doubt as to which team was better, but a gap of 10 goals often means that a more experienced side capitalized on perhaps 15 errors over the course of a 60 minute game. Undoubtedly the British women can review that game and readily see what improvements are necessary for a better result when the two teams meet again. The French loss, however, doesn’t fall into that category. Anytime you lose by 26 goals it’s more likely a case of total domination in all phase of play. There’s still something to be gained in those sorts of matches, though, as players see firsthand what skills they need to learn.
Qualifying for Group Play has been a boon for Great Britain by providing them meaningful matches in a structured competition. Friendly matches are nice, but they can’t substitute for qualification matches in terms of intensity. Another added benefit is that they will be perfect benchmarks to measure progress as Great Britain will play each team twice. In addition, there is a five month wait till Great Britain suits up against Iceland on March 31, 2010 and the competition doesn’t finish up until the end of May. With that amount of time in between it will be interesting to see how much they can close the gap that now exists.
More Than the Games: Holmris admits Great Britain were outclassed by France: http://www.morethanthegames.co.uk/handball/176719-holmris-admits-great-britain-were-outclassed-france
British Handball: Euro 2010: GB Women Beaten by Classy France: http://britishhandball.worldhandball.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?menuid=1093&itemid=2358
British Handball: Battling GB go down 30-20 in Austria: http://britishhandball.worldhandball.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?menuid=1093&itemid=2351
THN Commentary (Sep 2006): Is it Better to Get Blown Out or to Just Stay Home?: http://teamhandballnews.com/news.php?extend.142