Hallinan expects Proteas to be well prepared

A familiar face will greet the Australian Diamonds when they step out on to the court at Allphones Arena in the next qualification match against South Africa at the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 tonight.

The Proteas are now coached by the legendary figure Norma Plummer, who guided Australia to the last two Netball World Cup titles in 2007 and 2011 and is well-known to many of the current Diamonds squad.

All bar three athletes in the Diamonds’ squad – Caitlin Thwaites, Kim Ravaillion and Paige Hadley – made their Test debuts for Australia under Plummer, pictured below.

Wing defence Renae Hallinan said she expects the Proteas’ players to be well prepared to take on the world number one.

“From playing under Norma I know how much homework she does on the opposition and given she was our previous coach I know that homework is even extended,” Hallinan said.

“She’s a brilliant coach, she’s very strategic and I know she will probably throw a few little things in there that we haven’t seen before to try and throw us off a bit. We’re ready and excited for the challenge.”

South Africa head into the clash coming off a 28-goal win over Wales on Tuesday night while the Diamonds got back on the winners list with a hard-fought 10-goal victory against England.

While happy with the result, Hallinan said the post-game review had again highlighted areas of the Diamonds game every player can improve on.

“Regardless of who we come up against there’s some things that we never want to come away from and that’s our intensity and working together as a team and doing all one per cent things,” Hallinan said.

“I didn’t look at the scoreboard during the game so I didn’t know what margin was.

“It was about each minute, each five minutes and each quarter and worry about the next 15 minutes after that and that’s what we did; you look up after game and there’s a 10-goal margin.

“Of course we celebrate and enjoy that, but we’re hard on ourselves and our own worst critics and it’s about where can we fix up heading into this game against South Africa.”

It will be the fifth meeting Netball World Cup meeting between the Diamonds and Proteas and the first since 2003. Australia has won the four previous contests, including the 1995 Final.

Hallinan has noticed improvement in the Proteas’ game from their opening day loss to Malawi and knows they will present a different challenge to the Diamonds.

“They’ve gotten stronger all across the court. They’ve obviously got that strong target at goal shooter (Lenize Potgieter) and she’s shooting beautifully,” Hallinan said.

“But it’s about the work they’ve done in getting her the ball and they’ve had some great performances.

“Where they’ve needed to work on is that 60-minute consistency and learning how to win. I think with Plum (Plummer) at the helm teaching them those little tricks of the trade, as the week goes on they’re getting better and better.

“Tonight will be their best performance thus far coming up against us.”

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.