The Australian Diamonds have continued their winning ways with a 20-goal victory over the England Roses in front of a record international netball crowd in Adelaide of 9,211.
Following a close tousle in the first half, it was a dominant third-quarter from the Diamonds that secured the win.
“There was definitely a lot better flow for us in that third quarter,” explained acting captain Clare McMeniman. “We were looking for more consistency from that perspective.”
“We didn’t have the connection that we needed when we were getting turnovers in the beginning (of the match) but that built steadily across the game and we utilised the width of the court a little bit better towards the later end of the game as well.”
A 15-goal shooting performance from Caitlin Bassett paired with match MVP Natalie Medhurst’s highest shooting quarter for the match, helped the Diamonds to a 20-8 goal advantage in the third term.
Medhurst scored 11 goals from 13 attempts for the match and played an important feeding role to Bassett, racking up at total 28 feeds.
Bassett also had an impressive performance, scoring 46 goals for the match, only three goals short of equaling her personal best international score.
“(Bassett) is a huge weapon in the attack end but we also have to work to get the ball to her, which is where Bunga (Medhurst) and Madi (Robinson) come into play. It’s not just Bassett standing up in the attack end.” explained McMeniman.
April Brandley’s injection into the goal defence position following the main break and her seamless combination with Clare McMeniman in wing defence and Sharni Layton in keeper saw momentum build for the home side.
In the final term, Coach Lisa Alexander once again introduced Liz Watson into centre and Stephanie Wood into goal attack, providing versatility through the midcourt and feeding at the circle edge. Halfway through the final term, Kristiana Manu’a and Caitlin Thwaites were introduced at wing defence and goal shooter respectively, further highlighting the team’s depth.
“Steph introduced herself really well, it was good impact, ” said Alexander. “She does make everyone change their timing up a little bit, which actually assisted us, especially with Lizzy (Watson) in centre. I think that complimented everyone really nicely, especially when Caity (Thwaites) went into shooter.”
Kristiana Manu’a, Stephanie Wood, Gabi Simpson and April Brandley also all made their first international appearances on Australian soil.
Attention now shifts to the final Netball Quad Series Test in Melbourne against the Silver Ferns this Sunday, with the winner to take out the Netball Quad Series. Tune in to watch the game live on ONE, Fox Sports Australia and the Netball Live App.
Official Result & Statistics
AUSTRALIAN DIAMONDS (66) defeated ENGLAND ROSES (46)
Australian Diamonds shooting statistics
Caitlin Bassett 46/51 (90%)
Natalie Medhurst 11/13 (85%)
Caitlin Thwaites 6/7 (86%)
Stephanie Wood 3/4 (75%)
England Roses shooting statistics
Jo Harten 28/34 (82%)
Helen Housby 5/6 (83%)
Kadeen Corbin 10/14 (71%)
Ellie Cardwell 3/5 (60%)
Australia starting seven – GS: Caitlin Bassett, GA: Natalie Medhurst, WA: Madi Robinson C: Kim Ravaillion, WD: Gabi Simpson, GD: Clare McMeniman, GK: Sharni Layton
England starting seven – GS: Jo Harten, GA: Kadeen Corbin, WA: Serena Guthrie, C: Jade Clarke, WD: Beth Cobden, GD: Stacey Francis, GK: Ama Agbeze
Match MVP: Natalie Medhurst (Australia)