FIL World Championships Preview: Plum Pool

(Photo Credit: Inside Lacrosse)

The 2018 FIL World Lacrosse Championships are just a few weeks away and I know everyone in the lacrosse world is very excited. This years FIL World Championships in Netayna, Israel will feature 46 countries that will compete for a Gold medal. This is the eight of this series previewing each of the 14 pools and today we cover the Plum Pool. 

This is a very interesting pool as we have some teams that certainly aren't new, but wouldn't be called an upper tier program in their region. It will be interesting to see how all three teams in this pool have grown and developed since their last international showing, especially the newcomer in this group.

Spain

Spain is one team in this pool that we have a better idea of what they will be as they just recently played in a tournament they hosted. The Barcelona City Tournament was hosted by Spain and saw teams like Norway, England, Netherlands, Germany, and University of Notre Dame compete. Because of that we have a better idea of what Spain will look like in Netayna. 

The tournament hopefully helped them a lot to prepare for these World Championships. Spain has been rising and they could put out a pretty good showing in Israel. They finished in 24th place, dead last, in the European Championships in 2016. They went 0-8 there in Hungary as they had a tough showing and I believe they had to forfeit a few games. Hopefully they have grown and gotten a lot better from that.

During the 2014 World Championships in Denver we saw Spain go 2-5 and finish 30th overall and third in the Turquoise Pool. Their two wins came against Colombia and Russia. Spain has played some lacrosse and developed since 2014 and hopefully we see that on the field in Israel.

New Zealand

New Zealand has really grown and developed since their international debut in 2006 in Perth. This New Zealand team should be the favorite in this pool as they have really been good in the past and can be again this year in Israel.

The growth and development of talent in New Zealand has been tremendous. It helps that they are really close to Australia and can play against that level of competition a lot. We really have seen them grow and take big leaps each year. They should be able to take another leap this year in Israel. 

New Zealand had a great showing in Denver in 2014 as they went undefeated in their pool. They would finish 12th overall and 1st in the Plum Pool. New Zealand would get wins over Wales, Russia, Argentina, and Netherlands. They question in 2018 is can New Zealand win games out of their pool? They will be a much improved team and we will soon see how much they really did improve.

Croatia

This isn't Croatia's international debut as they were at the Euros in 2016, but it is their World Championships debut. So welcome Croatia! 

Croatia has been really developing some talent as they actually have a four team league that is alive and well. They were also at the European Championships in Hungary in 2016. Now they were a festival team there and not a full team, but at least they got the experience. I am really interested to see how well the Croatians can play and hold their own on the field. 

Plum Division Schedule

New Zealand vs Spain - Thursday, July 12th

Spain vs Croatia - Friday, July 13th

Croatia vs New Zealand - Saturday, July 14th



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