Diamonds fresh for business end of tournament

Australian star Natalie Medhurst said the Diamonds have freshened up for the “business end” of the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 ahead of their final qualification round match against Wales tonight.

After playing five games in seven days, the Diamonds enjoyed a rest day on Thursday which Medhurst said gave all squad members a chance to physically and mentally prepare themselves for the upcoming semi-final.

Medhurst, a veteran of Australia’s two previous Netball World Cup campaigns, is excited about the prospect of heading into the weekend.

“These sorts of tournaments are completely different to international Test series and there’s a huge workload on players which needs to be managed extremely well,” Medhurst said.

“I very much welcomed the day off; I think everyone did. But we were all really smart, we still made sure we recovered, had our treatments and got the rest that we needed so we’re ready for these next few days.

“Everyone needs to be prepared mentally and physically to get out there and do the job because, I know when it comes to the crunch time (coach) Lisa (Alexander) is not going to pull any punches and she’ll do what she needs to do to put players out there and get the win.”

Tonight will be the first Netball World Cup meeting between Australia and Wales since the last time the tournament was played in Sydney in 1991 and 12th overall.

The two countries met at the Commonwealth Games last year with Australia winning by 27 goals, which is the closest result between the pair.

The 70-Test veteran said nothing will change in the Diamonds’ game plan with a major focus on their intensity and defensive pressure as they continue to fine-tune their game plan for Saturday’s semi-final.

“They (Wales) are coming out with nothing to lose and they’re going to be pretty fired up coming up against the reigning world champs,” said Medhurst, who reached 1000 career international goals earlier this week.

“We need to make sure we still play really intense, smart netball. People think we’re going to come away with an easy victory.

“But we need to make sure we’re still playing well, moving smart and doing everything possible to prepare ourselves for whoever were going to face in that first semi.”

Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 will be broadcast in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Network TEN and via the Netball Live app, available to download from the App Store and Google Play. Check your local guides for match details.