Next stop, London, for Diamonds Test series

sharni post match
The Australian Diamonds reward for winning the opening Test of the series against England was reviewing footage of that match on their two hour train ride from Liverpool to London.

While a 58-52 victory over the Roses was a great way to start the three-Test series, acting vice-captain Sharni Layton said the journey through the English midlands was a great chance for the playing group to closely examine areas of their games they need to improve in ahead of the second match in London.

The Diamonds and England will meet in front of two sold-out matches in the 7000-capacity Copper Box Arena on Saturday 23 January (AEDT) and Monday 25 January (AEDT).

Layton, who was named Player of the Match in the first Test, said the Diamonds will be out to attain an unassailable advantage when the two sides step out on court next.

“We definitely want to wrap it up. We don’t want to drop a game,” Layton said.

“I’m sure they’re going to come out even stronger and hungrier.

IMG_7662“They’re sold out games in London and (the crowd) is going to get right behind them as well.

“I’m expecting a tougher game. We definitely didn’t have a perfect performance (in Liverpool) and if we want to stay on top there’s a lot of work we need to do because they’re an extremely strong side.”

The first Test saw Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander trial new combinations right across the court with Layton partnering Clare McMeniman and April Brandley (nee Letton) in defence and Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett spend a half playing in the shooting circle.

The midcourt boasted the fresh faces of Gabi Simpson, Ashleigh Brazill, Paige Hadley and debutante Liz Watson.

“I think it’s so great that Lisa put new combos out there,” Layton said.

“We do have to learn to gel together looking forward over the next four years. Those combinations will continue to gel like those old ones have.

“It is nice to have the confidence (of the old combinations) but I’ve got confidence in all the girls with whatever we put out.”

The second Test of the series will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Network Ten. Check your local guides for details.

Fans can also subscribe to watch the games replayed on demand via the Netball Live App. Netball Live is available to download from the App Store and Google Play.