Hallinan puts milestone on ice for semi-final

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Midcourter Renae Hallinan is happy to put her personal milestone on ice as the Australian Netball Team prepares to take on Jamaica in the Commonwealth Games semi-final on Saturday.

The 28-year-old, who is set to play her 50th international Test match for Australia, insists that focus remains squarely on the penultimate match with a spot in the gold medal game at stake.

“It’s just another game for me, it’s all about beating Jamaica and hopefully getting through to that gold medal match,” Hallinan said.

“I want this win to get to the gold medal match, not for the 50th Test cap, it’s certainly not about any individual achievements.”

Hallinan needs just one more appearance in the green and gold to become Australia’s 23rd player and fifth Victorian to reach the half-century milestone.

The reigning Liz Ellis Diamond winner admitted that she never thought the feat would be reached after missing out on Australian selection in 2011, including the winning world championship team, after the failed 2010 Commonwealth Games campaign.

“You never take these opportunities for granted but you certainly appreciate it a lot more once it’s been taken away from you,” Hallinan said.

“Three years ago was a really tough, especially after the last Commonwealth Games and missing out on world championship selection, so having the fight my way back in certainly makes you appreciate it now that I’ve had that opportunity again.”

After making her international debut five years ago against New Zealand in Sydney, Hallinan said she was proud of reaching the milestone.

“I’m really proud and honoured to have the opportunity to wear the green and gold 50 times and to step out there with these girls and be able to play the sport I love for Australia,” Hallinan said.

Hallinan and her Australian teammates are ready for the Jamaican challenge as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games comes to a close.

“Its nice to be at the business end of the tournament, we’ve built really well and getting better and better with every game and that’s the focus heading into the next game, to get better again,” Hallinan said.

“When you come up against Jamaica, who have targets like Jhaniele Fowler-Reid and Romelda Aiken that could be at either end of the court, it’s about that 60 minute game plan and us being smart about it and sticking to it.”

Australia will take on Jamaica for the first time in a Commonwealth Games semi-final on Saturday at 12.15pm (9.15pm AEST).

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.

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