Aussies ready for England

AusvWales_CommGames_Slider_980x490_AusvEng The Australian Netball Team is prepared for a bruising encounter against England in a rematch of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games semi-final on Saturday in Glasgow, Scotland.
 
Near four years on since Australia downed England 51-45 to book a spot in the gold medal match, the two sides will renew their international rivalry that continues to grow from strength to strength.
 
The Australians, who have won their past seven consecutive Tests ahead of day four of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, are expecting nothing less than a physical battle against a dogged English outfit.

“(The rivalry) has certainly become a lot more heated in recent years and we’re really looking forward to stepping out there against them and seeing where we’re at and where they are as well,” Australian goal attack Natalie Medhurst said.

“It’s a completely different ball game when you play against countries like England, New Zealand and Jamaica, we really need to step up and play consistent netball across four quarters.

“We know that they’re going to be physical so we’re certainly going to have to put our bodies on the line and adapt to the umpiring and whatever they’re throwing against us.”

Both sides won their opening Pool B encounters against Wales after the Australians claimed a comfortable 63-36 victory on day two before England followed suit with a 65-25 win on Friday morning.
 
England come into the fixture with their tails up and full of confidence after claiming their first ever series victory over Australia when the two sides last met in a three-Test series in January last year.
 
The hosts shocked the Australians to win the series three-nil after having previously won just two of 59 Tests coming into the England Tour.

While acknowledging the enormity of their maiden series victory, Medhurst isn’t reading much into the results with only four of the 12 players, Caitlin Bassett, Renae Hallinan, Kim Ravaillion and Madi Robinson, from that series defeat lining up on Saturday.

“It was a surprise result but if you put it into a bigger picture we went over to England during our pre-season and had quite a few players unavailable and being rested,” Medhurst said.

The rivalry has come along way since the advent of the ANZ Championship in 2008 with five of the England Commonwealth Games team members lining up the in trans-Tasman competition last year.

England’s Geva Mentor and Ebony Beckford-Chambers plied their trade with the Melbourne Vixens and West Coast Fever, while Jade Clarke (Tactix), Ama Agbeze (Pulse) and Jo Harten (Mystics) lined up across the Tasman in New Zealand last year.

“When you come into an environment like the (Commonwealth Games) it’s just so different (to the ANZ Championship) with different players around you and likewise for us,” Medhurst said.

“I’m sure Geva will think that she’s got some inside knowledge on us but we would like to think that we’ve got the same on her and the other players playing in the league.”
 
The Australian Netball Team will take on England on day four of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on Saturday from 9.30am (6.30pm AEST). Catch all the action on Network Ten or on ABC Grandstand.

Follow the Australian Netball Team during the Commonwealth Games online on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aussiediamonds or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aussiediamonds

Tagged Articles