Diamonds put on a clean four-quarter performance

CAIRNS hosted their first international netball game which saw the Australian Diamonds get a clean victory over the SPAR Proteas by  62-43 in what established the up and coming talent.

A goal for goal start was expected as both nations are having good years out on court. This didn’t last for long and the Diamonds pounced on the turnovers to score a seven-goal run late in the first term.

Probably an unexpected margin at quarter time, the Diamonds led 17-9 and were ready to pull out all the stops to continue extending it each quarter.

Both Jamie-Lee Price (35 feeds, 20 goal assists and one intercept) and Amy Parmenter (four deflections, three intercepts) were huge in the full game time in centre and wing defence. The formidable GIANTS combination came in handy, and it was obvious they knew each other’s game inside and out. 

Price’s strength in the air was breathtaking and it’s impressive how she’s able to grab the ball so high in the air under an enormous amount of pressure every time. Parmenter has truly cemented the wing defence position for the Diamonds and told them that she is the specialist they need. Her tagging work was so deceivingly good that you might not notice how much work she actually does on the body.

It was an anti-climactic end to the first half with turnovers galore and balls being thrown everywhere. It was a very scrappy end to what was an impressive 10-goal lead by the Diamonds.

The smile on Diamonds debutant Matilda Garrett’s (two deflections and two intercents) face was hard to wipe off and she had a great partnership with player of the match Sarah Klau. Garrett was not afraid to attack the line of the ball and she did a mountain of work in attack along the transverse line and on the centre pass. Klau used her footwork to get around the body and get clean hands on ball, which paid off with 12 deflections, three rebounds, one intercept and one block.

They forced the change of Proteas’ debutant Rolene Streutker (12 goals) replacing arguably their best player out on court Ine-Marí Venter (24 goals). Both did really well under the pressure, as both were unafraid to shoot from anywhere and were able to drive front or drop into the back space for a high ball.

The Proteas jumped back into the contest in the second quarter though only dropping by two-goals. Venter was huge for the Proteas shooting all their 12 goals for the term. This was off the back of captain Bongiwe Msomi (30 feeds, 14 goal assists and one intercept) putting in a ton of effort in the attack end and winning back ball for her side.

South Africa had no answers to the Diamonds fluid attack. Sophie Garbin (31 goals and two rebounds) was able to lose the defenders so easily and landed under the post on every occasion, slotting them in easily. She helped the Diamonds push their lead out to 14-goals ahead of the fourth term.

Something that the Proteas will be disappointed with is their number of gains and penalties compared to Australia. Australia ended the game with 20 gains and 39 penalties, whereas South Africa ended with eight gains and 56 penalties, way too much for international netball.

Diamonds captain Liz Watson was happy with her side’s four quarter performance and that they were able to keep it relatively consistent amongst the changes. They will look to decrease their number of turnovers as 19 was still too high for a team like the Diamonds.

South Africa stuck with the Diamonds for the first seven minutes of each quarter, but it was the first quarter that let them down the most conceding eight-goals that helped the Diamonds get their 19-goal win. 

Australia continue this series 1-0 and maintain their 100 percent win rate against the South Africans and are ready for another challenge in Hobart.

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