Heya and welcome to day 5 with the Australian team!

Today started like most others with the team gathering for the morning buffet at the hotel. We are getting used to what is being offered to us and have come prepared to most meals. I saw a few team mates smuggle a box of coco puffs into breakfast and for myself a tub of Nutalex.

Following breakfast we had our team meeting, where we analysed our previous game and discussed our highly anticipated game against Chinese Taipei. We then went back to our rooms to “relax” and mentally prepare before we departed for the stadium.

The bus arrived 30 minutes late to pick us up, which resulted in us having to rush to our warm up as soon as we got to the stadium. Tensions were high as we were all looking forward to playing against such an experienced and talented team. To break this tension, the coaches in our pregame chat told us that we would be playing “rock, paper, scissors” with each other to determine the starting 8…this certainly made people question reality. Until it was revealed it was all just a funny joke!

The game was a tough one, with Taipei coming out in full swing from the beginning. We managed to showcase what Australia is capable off, but unfortunately the sheer athleticism and precision from Taipei was too strong. Nevertheless, it was a great experience for the whole team, and something that we will always remember.

Lunch was delivered to the stadium before the game, but due to timing we had to turn it into a postgame lunch. Today as a team we all opted for vegetarian lunchs, the classic rice, veggies and noodles was up for grabs. A special mention to Jess for bringing/and making some bread and peanut butter sandwiches, certainly made Jazz and myself very happy.

When we got back to the hotel the coaches surprised us with a recovery session.. that happened to be held in the pool. We were very excited! And In true Isabel fashion this involved some creative and fun games for us to play (oldies vs young’ns of course). It started with some evasion style games, then shoulder wrestling, and to finish a game of water handball (using Nik’s rainbow croc as a ball).

Our rookies on the trip have started to earn their stripes, with the completion of stealing the New Zealand’s mascot. In true spirit after the humiliation passed the mascot was returned safely.

Dinner was a personal let down for me, with very limited options that I was able to eat (beside plain rice). This meant that I had to take a quick trip to the mall next door, where I found some Portuguese food to tie me over. After dinner we all met up as a team for our evening team meeting. Similar to the morning, we reviewed and discussed our previous performance before breaking up into our “study groups”

The rest of the evening was uneventful, with some team mates going to the local shops to gather more snacks and water for the following days.

Next up we have Grace.