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The Diamonds got the fright of their lives but they have held on to beat South Africa and they have made the World Cup Final, where they’ll face New Zealand.
Caitlin Bassett didn’t play tonight but you would have to think that she will lead the Diamonds in the final.
Jo Weston had a couple of crucial turnovers in the last quarter to keep the Diamonds in front. As they did against the Silver Ferns, the Diamonds held strong under pressure.
South Africa 52
We’re definitely into the business end of the Netball World Cup, with the Australian Diamonds taking on South Africa tonight with a World Cup Final spot up for grabs. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 8:15pm (AEST).
Australia has enjoyed an unbeaten World Cup to date, but were pushed all the way on Thursday night by New Zealand. If Maria Folau had made her shot just before full time, it would have been a draw.
Diamond Coach, Lisa Alexander, was pleased with the win but still saw plenty of things to work on.
Courtney Bruce at goalkeeper has been arguably the strongest player in the Australian squad so far. The mid court appears settled with Jamie-Lee Price, Liz Watson and Kelsey Browne all expected to start.
The former Sunshine Coast Lightning combination of Browne, Steph Wood and Caitlin Bassett was strong against the Silver Ferns.
The big improvers of international netball, South Africa, came into this World Cup ranked fifth. Their impressive tight win over Jamaica suggested, at the very least, that this ranking should improve.
Much has been said around the import policy of Super Netball and its effect on the international stage. South Africa has taken advantage of this, with a large number of their squad playing in Australia.
Karla Pretorius will create plenty of pressure on the opposition attack, as she does every week playing for the Lightning. Shooter Lenize Potgieter is playing for the Queensland Firebirds and also someone to watch tonight.
South Africa will be sweating on the fitness of their centre, Bongiwe Msomi, who left the court injured against England.
Australia would prefer this match up rather than playing against England tonight. However, South Africa will come into this semi final with nothing to lose.
I think it will be a lot closer than many think but I expect the Diamonds to progress through to the World Cup Final.
Diamonds by 6
When: 8:15pm AEST
Where: M&S Bank Arena, Court 1, Liverpool, England
TV: Nine Go
Caitlin Bassett (c), April Brandley, Kelsey Browne, Courtney Bruce, Paige Hadley, Sarah Klau, Jamie-Lee Price, Caitlin Thwaites, Gretel Tippett, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Steph Wood.
Erin Burger, Izette Griesel, Maryka Hotzhausen, Chawane Khanyisa, Phumza Maweni, Bongiwe Msomi (c), Lenize Potgieter, Karla Pretorius, Renske Stolz, Shadine van der Merwe, Ine Mari Venter, Vimbela Zanele