Amellia Wood for Commonwealth Games Australia
The Australian Diamonds hot start at Birmingham 2022 continues with a convincing win over South Africa.
The Australian Diamonds have defeated South Africa, 74-49, in their third consecutive win to remain undefeated in the Birmingham 2022 pool.
Despite the SPAR Proteas holding Diamonds to their lowest margin of the Games thus far, Australia’s dominant roster continues to prevail.
Agility and enthusiasm were on display from the first minutes of the match with the Diamonds attack unbeatable and their defensive pressure relentless.
Goaling dream duo Steph Wood and Gretel Bueta shot the first 40 goals without a single miss, with Kiera Austin and Cara Koenen also getting called in to the ring. Between the four of them, the goaling group shot at 97% accuracy.
The movement of the ball from each third flowed with careful decision-making and exceptional drives.
Midcourter Paige Hadley came off the court in the second quarter after experiencing some calf trouble.
Fortunately, Kate Moloney and Liz Watson powered through the centre to control the speed of Diamonds’ play and keep the group at ease.
uIn front by 16 goals at half time, the team worked hard to see a final margin of 25 goals and reaffirm why the likes of England and New Zealand should fear the world number one’s.
Courtney Bruce and Ash Brazill, once again, stole the show in defence with Bruce chasing up six deflections to psych her opposition out.
Liz Watson achieved another impressive statistic breakdown too, 39 total feeds and 31 goal assists.
Jo Weston, who played 45 minutes in today’s match, commented on South Africa’s hardworking performance.
“South Africa have been pretty competitive the last few years, so were happy to just get over the line,” she said.
“We’ve got a majority of athletes that haven’t been to a Commonwealth Games before, so I think having that opportunity to be a part a broader team Australia is really special and I’m glad to be on this experience.”
Known for her clean marking and tight defensive tactics against any opposition, Weston attributed her skill to her brothers.
“With two older brothers I feel like I grew up annoying them, so I think that’s what went into my netball game in terms of annoying my opponents.
“I like to play that defensive unit and it’s something we really pride ourselves on.”
Australia will play Wales tomorrow before they come up against their biggest threat yet Jamaica, who were the 2018 bronze medalists and boast a powerful Jhanielle Fowler.
A match-up between Bruce and Fowler is expected to captivate Suncorp Super Netball fans as the West Coast Fever teammates go head-to-head.
On the other side of the draw, England are undefeated in Pool B as the reigning Commonwealth Games champions.