Diamonds come back against England for late win
SUNDAY: IT might have only been one of five round games at the Commonwealth Games but the victory by Laura Geitz and the Australian Diamonds netball side against England on Saturday night was a major boost to their medal chances.
After trailing 16-10 at the end of the first quarter, the Diamonds made up five in the second quarter before trailing 39-37 at the end of the third quarter.
In the final quarter, it was former Allora junior Geitz who took the intercept for Australia for draw level for the first time.
It was almost goal for goal in the final quarter before England missed a shot late in the game and Australia netted the winner.
In a story in the Daily News just before the start of the games, Queensland Firebirds player Clare McMeniman warned England as well as New Zealand would be a major threat to the Australians success.
While confident the Diamonds could win gold, McMeniman put England up with the top-two in the gold medal chances.
She was right, England shocked Australia which resulted in Julie Corletto joining Geitz at the defensive end at the start of the second quarter.
With the leading team in each pool facing the second-placed team in a semi, the losing team from the England/Australia was most likely going to play New Zealand in a semi final.
If the Silver Ferns from New Zealand win all their games and Australia is unbeaten, Australia will not play New Zealand in a semi final, most likely Jamaica.
Australian games to go: Sunday 27 July, 8.30pm AEST - Australia v Barbados
- Monday 28 July, 8.30pm AEST - Australia v Trinidad & Tobego
- Wednesday 30 July, 6.30pm AEST - Australia v South Africa
- Saturday 2 August, 7pm & 9.15pm AEST - Semi-Finals
- Sunday 3 August, 7pm & 9.30pm AEST - Bronze Medal Match & Gold Medal Match
SATURDAY: ALLORA goal keeper Laura Geitz will lead the Australian Diamonds in a Commonwealth Games netball match for the second time tonight.
She played strongly in the day 2 win against Wales.
The game tonight against England will be the toughest in the Diamonds pool.
The Australian Netball Team take on England in a rematch of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games semi-final on Saturday at the Scottish Exhibition & Convention Centre (SECC) from 9.30am (6.30pm AEST).
Coach Lisa Alexander, a former high school mathematics teacher before being appointed as coach in 2011, said that she's got homework to do following Australia's 63-36 victory over Wales on Thursday.
"We certainly saw some different combinations and performances that will make us think very carefully about what we put out against England in that first quarter on Saturday," Alexander said.
"We've got 12 awesome athletes and it's a privilege to coach them so I've got to make sure that I've done my home work today, have a look at England then the coaches and I will make a considered decision.
"At the end of the day, it could take 12 players to beat England on Saturday."
The Australians will need to find an extra 20 per cent in their performance when they line up against England according to Alexander after the world champions overcame a slow start to record their seventh consecutive Test victory.
Held to a one-goal lead at quarter-time, the Australians scored eight unanswered goals to start the second term to put the result beyond doubt before Alexander cleared her bench for the second half.
Shooter Tegan Caldwell was handed her international debut, becoming just the third Australian to make their international debut at a Commonwealth Games, converting her first shot as an Australian international before finishing the game with 12/15 at 80 per cent.
"I think there was a bit of nerves there," Alexander said of Caldwell coming off the bench to become Australia's 162nd Test player.
"We made a bit of a fuss with her at half-time because it is a big deal to make your debut, I think she handled it really well, she knew we were all behind her and supporting her and certainly it will be great to get her first game under her belt.
"She will know now what the pace (of international netball) is like, she's understand what the whole environment is about, it is different, and I think she'll go from strength to strength."