Australian Diamonds cruise to fourth straight win in Birmingham

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Roger Vaughan / AAP News

 

The Australian Diamonds have continued to shine bright through the Birmingham pool matches, displaying the squad’s versatility as they prepare to take on Jamaica on Thursday.

 

Australia have cruised to their fourth Commonwealth Games win as Paige Hadley predictably sat out the Wales game with her calf muscle injury.

Goal attack Steph Wood also rolled her ankle in the third quarter of Tuesday’s 79-33 win and was off for the last term.

Wales took it up to Australia with some slick ball movement, but the Diamonds were never threatened.

Ash Brazill, Kate Moloney and then captain Liz Watson were rotated through centre in Hadley’s absence.

Hadley came into the Games nursing a right calf muscle niggle, sustained in a training camp, although coach Stacey Marinkovich was tight-lipped on when it happened.

She sat out the opening win over Barbados and had limited minutes against Scotland.

Hadley started on Monday against South Africa, but limped off in the second term and spent the rest of the game on the bench with ice on her right calf.

It is unclear when she will return to the lineup.

“Paige is one of the toughest competitors in netball and we will continue to work with our medical team on her return to the court,” Marinkovich said in a pre-game statement.

“We have a versatile and dynamic team and we are focused on improving performance as we progress towards the business end of the Games.”

Shooter Cara Koenen led the Australian scoring with 49 goals.

Only Koenen and goalkeeper Sarah Klua played all 60 minutes as Marinkovich continues to experiment with their lineup, with Jamaica their next opponents on Thursday.

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