Di­a­monds un­done by own sys­tem

The Western Star - - SPORT -

DI­A­MONDS coach Lisa Alexan­der has blamed Su­per Net­ball’s im­port pol­icy for giv­ing Eng­land the im­pe­tus for their stun­ning Com­mon­wealth Games tri­umph.

Aus­tralia were beaten 52-51 in a dra­matic fi­nal yes­ter­day, which Eng­land clinched through a Joanne Harten penalty shot in the very last sec­ond.

Harten was one of five play­ers from Eng­land’s start­ing seven who cur­rently ply their trade in Aus­tralia’s com­pe­ti­tion, while one other, Eboni Beck­ford Cham­bers (pic­tured), has done pre­vi­ously.

Alexan­der said it was clear they were get­ting a leg-up.

“I can’t say it any other way – I’m the na­tional coach and this has clearly as­sisted them to win this gold medal,” Alexan­der said af­ter the de­feat at Coomera.

“That’s our high per­for­mance sys­tem work­ing for an­other coun­try.

“I don’t get it. I don’t get to make that de­ci­sion.

“I have said this all along, that the dan­ger is that we’re putting money into an­other coun­try’s high-per­for­mance out­comes.

“We get judged on gold medals. Clearly, the AIS and every­one is not go­ing to be happy with this.”

Aus­tralia broke away from their trans-Tas­man ar­range­ment with New Zealand last year, with three new teams es­tab­lished to make an eight-team com­pe­ti­tion.

New Zealan­ders are per­mit­ted to play in Su­per Net­ball but are barred from rep­re­sent­ing the Sil­ver Ferns if they do so.

Alexan­der ac­knowl­edged there was an ar­gu­ment that the com­pe­ti­tion was help­ing lift the global stan­dard of the sport.

“But that doesn’t help me in my job as a na­tional coach,” she said.

“It’s tough. We still should have been able to win to­day.

Photo: AAP

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