Di­a­monds ready for Eng­land test

The Morning Bulletin - - SPORT - – Amanda Lulham

Aus­tralia will go into their much-an­tic­i­pated Com­mon­wealth Games gold-medal re­match at full strength af­ter sur­viv­ing their first match of the Quad Se­ries with­out in­jury.

Coach Lisa Alexan­der said the Di­a­monds emerged from their 61-44 vic­tory over South Africa in good shape and ready to take on the English roses in New­cas­tle on Wed­nes­day.

“We have no wor­ries, no in­juries, just a few nig­gles,” Alexan­der (pic­tured) said af­ter send­ing 11 of her 12 play­ers on to the court for the se­ries opener in Auck­land on Satur­day.

“It’s great to be able to fi­nally fo­cus on the Eng­land game. We haven’t talked about it yet.

“And hope­fully the nerves are now out. This is a new ad­ven­ture and it’s time to slug it out.” The Quad Se­ries matches mark the first in­ter­na­tion­als played by Aus­tralia since be­ing pipped 51-52 for the gold medal on the Gold Coast.

It was the first net­ball gold for Eng­land and saw them usurp New Zealand from the No. 2 spot on the net­ball world rank­ings, while Aus­tralia re­tained their top po­si­tion.

Coached by Tracey Neville, Eng­land on Satur­day also started their Quad Se­ries on a high note with a 52-39 thump­ing of the Sil­ver Ferns.

Photo: AAP

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