The Australian Netball Diamonds, Australia’s national netball team, began the new year with a bang by clinching a seven-goal lead and beating their rivals, the New Zealand Ferns, 57-50.
According to vice captain Caitlin Thwaites, the team is “always about trying to get a really strong start,” which they clearly demonstrated by netting four unanswered goals right after the first whistle.
The Diamonds already had eight goals to the Ferns’ two goals halfway into the opening quarter. By the first break, the Australian team had a lead of 16 goals to their opponent’s 10.
No changes were made to the team in the second quarter and the Diamonds held onto their lead (as much as 10 goals). They also chose to keep the lineup the same during the third quarter and went on to score 15 goals.
When the final quarter rolled around, the Australian team’s goal count appeared to slow down as they managed to score only two against the Ferns’ seven. That was when Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander called in Caitlyn Nevins at wing attack, which proved to be the turning point during the final term.
Susan Pettitt emerged as the most valuable player of the match.
The next event in the Diamonds’ calendar is the second test of the Netball Quad Series where they will go head to head with South Africa in Durban.
Coach Alexander says, “South Africa will be a different opponent, as they won’t put the zone on quite as much as New Zealand. Tonight we were really concentrating on our own game, and we will do so in preparation for our next test match.”
A tradition of excellent athletic performance
The Australian Netball Diamonds was formed in 1938 and has been traditionally recognised as international netball’s most successful team of all. Not only are they the current world champions, but they have also won 10 World Netball Championships and three Commonwealth Games events in all.
The Diamonds (as well as the Australian Netball League) continue to inspire countless Australians to take part in the sport and discover its benefits to one’s physical health, overall wellness, and social development.
In Melbourne alone, there has been a significant boost in interest in the well-loved sport. Melbourne Social Netball has opened a number of venues (Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre, Flagstaff Gardens, Melbourne High School, Richmond Recreation Centre, and Ryan’s Reserve) to provide locals with the space to play, develop skills, and make friends.
Find out for yourself how netball can transform your life in more ways than one. Visit any of Melbourne Social Netball’s notable venues (you can sign up as an individual or with a team) and channel your pride and enthusiasm over the Diamonds’ stellar athletic performance toward a game.