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2019 Netball World Cup second round: Australia vs New Zealand
|Venue: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England|
|Match time: Fulltime|
The Australian Diamonds World Cup campaign will ramp up when they face cross-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the last preliminary game. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary from 7:30pm (AEST).
Australia remain undefeated following a demolition job over unpredictable Malawi. In recent years, Malawi have been the surprise team of the competition, picking up unexpected wins and pushing teams right to the end.
In stage two of the World Cup preliminary matches, however, Australia proved far too strong for the African country.
Right from the start, Australia wiped Malawi off the court, the defensive combination of Jo Weston and Courtney Bruce held Malawi to just six opening half goals.
The Diamonds’ would have been very pleased with the opening terms, however, errors crept in during the second half and coach Lisa Alexander was unimpressed with the lacklustre final term.
New Zealand have also moved through the preliminary stage of this tournament with ease.
Their average winning margin of 47 goals is huge, though Australia have an even bigger winning average of 59 goals.
The Silver Ferns have been able to tinker with combinations, however, expect to see the fast and effective Laura Langman leading through the centre, Maria Folau at the attacking end and Jane Watson at the defensive end.
Ameliaranne Ekenasio has been given a great opportunity in the beginnings of this tournament, and could very well find herself on court in goal attack with Folau in goal shooter.
Australia are still yet to settle on a starting line-up, however, one of the team’s greatest strengths is their flexibility.
There is no weakness in the Australian side and where they play will largely be determined by the opposition.
It could become a stand-off though, as New Zealand’s squad is also adaptable.
April Brandley sat out of Australia’s match with Malawi due to an ear injury sustained against Barbados. It is unclear whether she will be fit to take on New Zealand.
The last time these nations played each other was in the January Quad-Series, on that occasion Australia came out on top by three goals.
New Zealand have fallen to fourth in the world, while Australia are solid in number one after two Quad Series in a row.
This will be an interesting match for two teams who have cruised until now, it will be a matter of who rises to the intensity of the game best.
Getting a good start will be key to Australia’s success in this match.
Australia by 6 goals.
Venue: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England
Time: 7:30pm (AEST)
TV: 9Gem, 9Now
Betting: Australia $1.16, New Zealand $5.00
Caitlin Bassett (captain), April Brandley, Kelsey Browne, Courtney Bruce, Paige Hadley, Sarah Klau, Jamie-Lee Price, Caitlin Thwaites, Gretel Tippett, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Steph Wood
New Zealand (squad)
Ameliaranne Ekenasio, Katrina Rore, Bailey Mes, Laura Langman (captain), Casey Kopua, Maria Folau, Gina Crampton, Phoenix Karaka, Jane Watson, Shannon Saunders, Karin Burger, Te Paea Selby-Rickit
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