Diamonds keen to end international year on a high


Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander declares she wants her team to produce their best performance of the year when they take to the court tonight in the final game of the Real Insurance Test Series.

The Diamonds take on England at Canberra’s AIS Arena in their final international Test of what’s been a triumphant 2014 campaign.

Fittingly, the match is a sell-out with Canberra fans eager to watch the Commonwealth Games champions in action for the final time this year.

It’s also an historic night with it being the 400th international test Australia has played since 1938.

Like Don Bradman’s famous 1948 `Invincibles’ cricket team that completed a tour of England undefeated, the Diamonds can complete a clean sweep of their calendar year with a victory in tonight’s second and final Test against the English.

Alexander is keen for the Diamonds to finish the year on a positive note by producing another high-quality performance.

“I think Canberra doesn’t deserve anything less than our best performance of the whole series really,” Alexander declared.

“So we want to make sure we put out best foot forward, that we’re really completing all of the intense efforts that we want to on defence and also getting that variety into our attack.

“So really looking forward to a great performance. We know that the business is not done yet and it has to be done tonight.”

The Diamonds head into the match on the back of an 18-Test winning streak that began in September last year and acting captain Kimberlee Green said the team is eager to carry that into 2015.

CJG-77“We go into every game want to win and we’ve had such a great year, it would be really nice to finish it off at the end,” Green said.

“To be as successful as we have, not just in netball but in Australian sport, is something that we hold in high regard and it (clean sweep of the year) is something that we’re definitely aiming for.”

The Diamonds toppled England by 18 goals in the first Test at Bendigo on Sunday but Alexander said there are still areas of the game her players can improve on to ensure they claim victory tonight.

“We weren’t happy with the second and third quarters and the girls will be looking for a four quarter effort,” Alexander said.

“England is going to come out very hard. I think they understood they didn’t start well in that last Test so we’ll expect them to come out with a real fire breathing approach in the first quarter – and we’ll be ready for that.”

Tonight’s Test will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 and SBS2 and also on ABC Grandstand from 7.00pm (AEDT).