In the past 12 months Caitlin Thwaites has emerged as more than just the understudy to her goal shooting namesake Caitlin Bassett in the Australian Diamonds make-up.
Thwaites has played match-winning roles in several of the Diamonds’ recent victories during that period, including a starring performance in the 60-44 win over England in the second Test this morning at London’s Copper Box Arena.
She shot a game-high 38 goals at 86 per cent accuracy and her second half combination with the experienced Natalie Medhurst – who shot 15 goals without a miss – proved the catalyst behind powering the Diamonds to a series win.
Having waited a long time to earn a Test cap after a solid domestic career, Thwaites is a player who’s making the most of her opportunities on court in the green and gold.
In her last eight Test appearances since the start of the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015, Thwaites has averaged 24 goals a match.
Today’s Test against England was just the third time in her 19 Test appearances the 29-year-old has played a full match for her country.
But her confidence is high after a career-best season in the ANZ Championship for the NSW Swifts and her contributions to Australia’s victory at last year’s World Cup.
It’s a nice luxury for coach Lisa Alexander to have in her squad, knowing she has two high-quality shooting options when she sits down to pick her starting line-up each match.
Thwaites enjoyed the chance to combine with Medhurst for 30 minutes having only played “bits and pieces” together at international level over the past few years.
“We haven’t played that many games together but we’ve definitely been working on our combination in training,” Thwaites said.
“The fact that we’re in the Aussie team together the last couple of years, we’re getting to know each other’s game a lot better.
“If we get to play more together those things will come a bit more crisp.”
While the 16-goal victory saw Australia wrap up the three-Test series, Thwaites said there was still more room for improvement heading into the third and final match on Monday morning (AEDT).
“One of our targets is to win every quarter and we didn’t do that in first half,” Thwaites said.
“It’s an expectation we have and when we don’t meet those we’re hard on ourselves.”