Diamonds’ versatility shines

The Australian Diamonds’ depth was on show in their opening game of Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 with all 12 players given court time in a seamless performance at Allphones Arena on Friday night.  

After a ‘scratchy start’ the Diamonds stormed home to claim a 73-32 victory over Trinidad & Tobago, despite wholesale changes after half-time to kick off their World Cup campaign with a 20th consecutive international victory.

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander made 17 positional changes in the second half as combinations continued to be trialed.

“It was a bit of a scratchy start but what was pleasing was it didn’t matter which combination we put out there, we discovered something new,” Alexander said.

“We don’t want to get to far ahead of ourselves, we have to make sure that we use all of our bench at this stage today and tomorrow so that we’re in good shape for Sunday.

“To see them push on in each quarter was terrific.”

After an uncharacteristic start, the Diamonds scored 11 straight goals to end the first quarter with a 16-5 lead.

The Australians extended their lead at every break, which included outscoring the tenth ranked team 22-6 in the final term.

Alexander was impressed with her side’s versatility and paid tribute to young gun Paige Hadley, who made her return to the international stage for the first time since 2013, and defensive combinations.

“I was particularly impressed with Paige Hadley’s second half in wing attack and centre, I thought she did a great job,” Alexander said post-match.

“Julz (Corletto) played beautifully in wing defence and goal defence, Bec Bulley did the job and Sharni finished it off.“

A short turn around will see the Diamonds take the court less than 24 hours after their opening fixture when they line up against Barbados on Saturday afternoon.

Alexander said she was hopeful for a “similar” performance in the team’s second hit out of the tournament on Saturday but identified the elimination of unnecessary turnovers as a focus for the next game.

“Probably a little less silly errors, there were a few feet on the line and a few bits and pieces like that we need to tidy up, a little bit of misunderstanding.”

The Australian Diamonds play Barbados on Saturday 8 August at 3:20pm AEST. Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 will be broadcast in Australia on FOX SPORTS, Network TEN and via the Netball Live app, available to download from the App Store and Google Play. Check your local guides for match details.