Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Danielle Jarvis

WHILE she may be the baby of the team, Paige Hadley has wasted no time help­ing steer the Aus­tralian Di­a­monds to a solid start in the Net­ball World Cup 2015.

Af­ter re­cov­er­ing from a sea­so­nend­ing an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in­jury in 2014, the mid­courter has had an im­pres­sive start to the week-long com­pe­ti­tion against some of the best play­ers in the world.

The Di­a­monds have won two from three games – in­clud­ing a record break­ing 83-16 win over Bar­ba­dos – in the pre­lim­i­nary rounds, go­ing down only to New Zealand by five goals on Sun­day.

Hadley said she was en­joy­ing her time at the World Cup and that the Di­a­monds would ac­cept noth­ing less than gold next Sun­day.

“I al­ways hoped that I’d be here and ev­ery­thing but I def­i­nitely didn’t ex­pect it,” she said. “It’s amaz­ing be­ing on the court. I want to do my job and to get any court time is just amaz­ing.”

The Aus­tralian Di­a­monds won their first pre­lim­i­nary round match against Trinidad and Tobago with an im­pres­sive 73-32 re­sult on Fri­day, but lost to New Zealand’s Sil­ver Ferns in a dev­as­tat­ing 47-52 fi­nal pre­lim­i­nary round game.

It was the first time in 21 games the Aus­tralian side had con­ceded more than 50 goals in a match.

“Ob­vi­ously, no one likes to lose so ev­ery­one was quite dis­ap­pointed. We looked at our­selves and said that’s not good enough,” Hadley said.

The com­pe­ti­tion now moves to the qual­i­fy­ing rounds and the fi­nal will be held on Sun­day. The Di­a­monds have been moved to Pool F with Eng­land, South Africa and Wales for the qual­i­fy­ing rounds.

Pic­ture: MARK EVANS

Paige Hadley in ac­tion against Trinidad and Tobago at the Net­ball World Cup.

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