New look Australian netball team gets one up on England

MADISON SPEDDING

They may have experienced a mass reshuffle, but world number one, Australia has maintained the same winning streak in the Netball Quad Series against England in Brisbane over the weekend.

The new look Australian Diamonds, led by newly appointed captain, Caitlin Bassett, took a commanding 10-point lead over England going into half time before England answered back narrowing the gap to 4 by the final whistle.

Bassett remained as calm as ever, shooting a whopping 43 goals at 93 per cent to guide the defending champions to a dream victory to kick off Australia’s Quad Series campaign.

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Photo: Australia take the victory over England 54 – 50. Source: Twitter @AussieDiamonds

Bassett said she wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“I knew I just had to get out there, focus on enjoying the experience and I couldn’t be prouder to have my maiden victory as captain,” Bassett said.

Bassett wasn’t the only one to have a dream run in a new role.

Debutant Australian goal keeper, Courtney Bruce was named MVP after seamlessly slotting into the big shoes of newly departed Captain and goal keeper, Sharni Layton [rested] for the series.

At just 23 years of age, Bruce was thrilled with her performance and has to pinch herself that she made the side for both the Quad Series and the Constellation Cup.

“Yes please pinch me or slap me across the face so I know this is real, I’m still in a daydream I think,” Bruce said.

“I think I was most proud of just contesting those balls and it felt so good out there, we we just like a unit and I felt so connected out there.”

“I just need to back it up on Wednesday against South Africa and I have confidence to do it because I know I am here for a reason, I know Lisa [Alexander] picked me for a reason.”

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Photo: Coach Travel Neville (L), Geva Mentor (C) and Captain Ama Agbeze (R) disappointed with their close 4 point loss to Australia. Credit: Madison Spedding

In the second game of the afternoon, fans saw world number two, New Zealand take to the court against South Africa.

South Africa started strongly which gave New Zealand a scare, going into quarter time barely ahead 18 -16.

South Africa’s strong defence and sharp shooting had things all tied up at 31-all going into the main break.

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Photo: New Zealand get up against South Africa in Game 2 with a 63 – 56 victory    Credit: Twitter @SilverFernsNZ

New Zealand came back to court for the final two quarters after a stern talking to from Coach, Janine Southby which knocked the Silver Ferns into gear, racing away with to their first victory of the Quad Series 63 – 56.

Australia will now head to Canberra to continue their Quad Series campaign against South Africa before jetting across the ditch to play New Zealand for the highly anticipated Constellation Cup matches.

Meanwhile, New Zealand heads straight back home before a tough encounter with England on Wednesday and Australia on Saturday to conclude their Quad Series campaign before hitting the court for the Constellation Cup.

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