Diamonds make it two from two

The Australian Diamonds have continued their perfect start to the Commonwealth Games with a 79-24 win over Barbados.

After opening their Games campaign with a comfortable win over Northern Ireland, the Diamonds were again slick as they looked to cement top spot in Pool A.

Defence was the hallmark of the win, with the team registering 14 intercepts and 23 deflections. 

Caitlin Thwaites started in goal shooter and was flawless yet again – taking her tally to 60/60 across the opening two matches, shooting 24 goals at 100% in the opening half.

When changes were made in the second half, the Diamonds maintained their momentum, with Sunshine Coast Lightning star Stephanie Wood a running highlight reel.

Three of the four shooters did not miss a goal, with the team shooting at an astonishing 96% for the game.

Coach Lisa Alexander was happy with the win, but called for emotions to remain in check with three games still to come before the medal rounds.

“Let’s keep a lid on it. It’s another step along the journey,” she told the team after the game.

Alexander showcased the squad’s depth against Barbados, making wholesale changes to the starting seven from Thursday night’s game, with Thwaites, Courtney Bruce, Susan Pettitt, Kimberley Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Liz Watson and Jo Weston given the nod.

Thwaites picked up where she left off against Northern Ireland, going on a perfect 7/7 run to lead Australia to an early 10-2 advantage.

The Diamonds marched on from there, opening up a 23-6 quarter-time lead. But Barbados came out with plenty of fight in the second term.

As per the opening game, Alexander made multiple changes in the third quarter, with Kim Ravaillion the sole starter remaining. The Diamonds transitioned the ball down the court with speed, their skill on show.

Barbados fought hard to the end, with the final quarter locked at 4-4 after five minutes as the visitors continued to throw everything at Australia, before the Diamonds steadied and extended their lead further.

Australia’s third game in the preliminary rounds is on Sunday night against South Africa.