Diamonds break 100-goal mark in big win over Fiji

Australia has registered a 108-23 win over Fiji in their fourth match of the preliminary rounds of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The last time Australia had scored 100 points or more against any opposition was in their Commonwealth Games clash against India in 2010, and it was just the fifth time in Australian netball history.

It had been 16 years since Australia and Fiji last clashed, and the first time the island nation had contested the Commonwealth Games since 2006.

The match saw a remarkable run end, with Caitlin Thwaites coming into the match with a perfect 75/75 clip from the field. She added another 23 goals to hit an incredible 98 shots without missing in the tournament before the streak was broken.

She finished with 30/31 for the match, while Caitlin Bassett led all scorers with 40/41.

The Australians chanced their arm and were able to reel in 18 intercepts for the match with Laura Geitz and Courtney Bruce getting six steals each.

Liz Watson (30 assists) and Kimberley Ravaillion (26 assists) provided great service to the shooters in a good hitout for the Diamonds.

Again, Australian coach Lisa Alexander mixed up the starting roster with Bassett, April Brandley, Bruce, Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Watson and Steph Wood hitting the court for the opening exchanges.

And they made a big statement, posting 16 points in just six minutes to open up an early 18-1 lead. The Diamonds were able to shift the ball easily in transition and Bassett and Wood were able to convert, with the Diamonds going into quarter time leading 32-7.

But perhaps the most impressive stat of all was the fact that the Diamonds didn’t concede a single penalty in the entire first quarter.

Fiji were able to rally, though, with stronger defence restricting Australia to just 23 goals in the second quarter.

It was a game rally from the Fijians, with 16-year-old Waqa displaying no fear – and showing why she could be a star of the future – with 10/11 from the field.

Australia was still able to notch up the half century, though, and took a 55-15 lead into half-time with Bassett finishing with 40/41, Wood 15/19, Watson with an incredible 30 assists and Bruce with three intercepts

Wholesale changes were made at half-time, with Caitlin Thwaites, Jo Weston, Madi Robinson, Susan Pettitt and Geitz given their chances to shine.

That didn’t disrupt the Diamonds, as strong defence kept the Fiji side to just three goals in the third quarter.

The crowd at the Gold Coast Exhibition Centre roared as the Diamonds passed the 100-goal mark late in the final quarter in what was an impressive performance from Australia.

The Australian Diamonds will play their final match of the preliminary games against Jamaica on Wednesday at 9pm AEST to determine the top two placings in their pool.