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Australia vs Canada
2018 Commonwealth Games women's Basketball, April 8
|Cairns Convention Centre, Queensland|
It was another strong win for Australia’s Opals at the Commonwealth Games, defeating Canada by 39 points.
The Australian Opals might have started their Commonwealth Games campaign off in perfect fashion, but in what could be a preview of the tournament final, things won’t be quite so easy when they take on Canada in Townsville. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 6:30pm (AEST).
The sides are both considered to be in the top five in the world, and the top two at the Commonwealth Games by a considerable distance.
Given the tournament structure, this will be similar to the men’s game between Australia and New Zealand last night in that the winner will book top spot in the group and both will qualify for the semi-final stage of the tournament automatically regardless.
While on paper, it probably doesn’t mean a great deal, the winner will have a much-needed momentum boost heading into a likely gold medal game later in the tournament.
Both sides kicked off their campaign with big wins, Australia smacking Mozambique by 60 points, while Canada got the better of England by 26.
The Canadians weren’t at their best against England and have improvement left in them, but playing a team like the Opals will bring out the best in them one would expect.
With forward Alex Kiss-Rusk pulling down nine rebounds throughout the game, the key battle here looks as if it’ll be between her, teammate centre Ruth Hamblin and their ability to control Australia’s Liz Cambage.
She was a monster against Mozambique, scoring 24 points and dominating on the glass alongside Cayla George, who had 11 rebounds.
The pair were dominant and while Australia may need more creativity in attack to get over the top of the North American outfit, their brilliant attacking weapons all over the floor should allow them to go into this match as favourites.
This is a really tough game to tip. Canada were strong against England and should be better for the run, but the Opals are among the best in the world. They should, with home court advantage, manage to pick up the win.
Australia by 5.
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