Belfast Telegraph

In pictures: Ryan optimistic on O'Hanlon head injury after Northern Ireland lose out to champions Australia in World Cup opener

Northern Ireland captain Caroline O'Hanlon had to leave the court with a head injury.
Northern Ireland captain Caroline O'Hanlon had to leave the court with a head injury.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Shaunagh Craig of Northern Ireland controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Shaunagh Craig of Northern Ireland controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Neamh Woods of Northern Ireland controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Neamh Woods of Northern Ireland controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Emma Magee of Northern Ireland in action during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Emma Magee of Northern Ireland in action during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Caroline OHanlon of Northern Ireland controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Neamh Woods of Northern Ireland battles with Jamie-Lee Price of Australia during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Caroline OHanlon of Northern Ireland controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Neamh Woods of Northern Ireland battles with Jamie-Lee Price of Australia during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Stephanie Wood of Australia controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Kelsey Browne of Australia controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 12: Kelsey Browne of Australia controls the ball during the preliminaries stage one match between Australia and Northern Ireland at M&S Bank Arena on July 12, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Australia's Caitlin Bassett (left) and Northern Ireland's Michelle Magee battle for the ball during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL World Cup. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Australia's Caitlin Bassett in action against Northern Ireland during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL World Cup. Photo credit should read: Nigel French/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Emma Magee and Australia's Jo Weston during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Emma Magee and Australia's Jo Weston during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Lisa McCaffrey and Australia's Jamie-Lee Price during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Shaunagh Craig and Australia's Caitlin Bassett in action during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Lisa McCaffrey and Australia's Jamie-Lee Price during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Lisa McCaffrey and Australia's Sarah Klau during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Lisa McCaffrey and Australia's Sarah Klau during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Shaunagh Craig shoots during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Fionnuala Toner during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Northern Ireland's Lisa McCaffrey and Australia's Jamie-Lee Price during the Netball World Cup match at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday July 12, 2019. See PA story NETBALL Northern Ireland. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use.
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland netball coach Dan Ryan is optimistic that captain Caroline O'Hanlon will be fit for this weekend's matches.

The 34-year-old had to be taken off after a heavy fall in her side's World Cup opener against Australia. Going for a pass, she was caught in the air by her Australian counterpart and clattered to the ground, seeming to land on her head.

Underlining her importance to the team's hopes of a strong finish in the tournament, she ended the game with nine assists as NI lost out 88-24 to the reigning champions.

"It was a massive hit, a massive fall but she's ok," Ryan told Sky Sports. "We will assess again shortly and see how she pulls up. Obviously she's massive for our campaign so fingers cross she's ok.

"We knew it was going to be a really tough ask and it was relentless. The biggest thing is the learnings we're going to take from it.

"For some of our girls, that was their first time playing against Australia. It's now about learning from going into our next few games.

"The occasion was just too much and the opposition was too strong."

O'Hanlon hasn't got much time to recover as NI's remaining crunch matches are coming up.

The remaining Preliminaries Stage One matches will be played this weekend, against Sri Lanka on Saturday and Zimbabwe on Sunday.

Positive results in those games and Ryan's girls will progress to compete in the top 16.

Australian native Ryan is targeting a top six finish, which would be a great result for the team ranked eighth in the world.

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