Australia take a gamble in the Quad Series final against New Zealand by selecting five midfielders for the clash.
After making her Diamonds debut against South Africa last night, Tara Hinchliffe has been dropped from the 12-man squad for the must-see clash against the Silver Ferns.
Instead of taking the typical four-four-four split, as coach Stacey Marinkovich has typically opted for, unbeaten Australia will enter with just three defenders in Courtney Bruce, Sarah Klau and Sunday Aryang.
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Australians beat South Africa to reach final | 00:34
Australia: GS Cara Koenen, GA Steph Wood, WA Liz Watson, C Paige Hadley, WD Ash Brazill, GD Courtney Bruce, GK Sarah Klau
New Zealand: GS Grace Nweke, GA Ameliaranne Ekenasio, WA Gina Crampton, C Kate Heffernan, WD Karin Burger, GD Phoenix Karaka, GK Jane Watson
Hinchliffe had been the shock replacement for injured defender Jo Weston, who did not make the trip to Cape Town due to a calf complaint.
It’s a big shot from Marinkovich considering the Quad series dominance of Fern’s goal shooter Grace Nweke.
“Without Jo Weston the Aussies are definitely not as strong,” Northern Stars coach Kiri Wills said on the Kiwi Netball Show podcast.
“And we saw that in those Constellation Cup games when they weren’t available, (NZ) was much more competitive.
“When she came back to Australia she closed Ameliaranne and so that put a lot more pressure on that WA/C combo.”
Silver Ferns defenseman Sulu Fitzpatrick said she is looking forward to a tough battle against the Diamonds after their narrow two-goal loss earlier in the series.
“They are the benchmark right now,” she said.
“They are grinders – they will keep pushing all the way.”
Nweke lamented the latest loss to Australia and conceded his side would “let them catch us” after holding a seven-goal lead.
Diamonds beat Kiwis to secure final | 01:27
“In a way, it was ours to lose.”
Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua described the final as a “big test” for her side to see where they are in their development.
“I think everyone had a chance now or an opportunity — they all had time in court,” she said.
“There’s always a headache of who we can’t take, but we’re up and really happy with what we’ve been able to do so far.”
The Quad Series Final between Australia and New Zealand begins at 3am AEDT on Thursday.
England and South Africa will face off in the 3v4 clash – with both sides still winless after round matches.
ROSES STAR MAKES A RARE STEP
England gave veteran Jade Clarke a 200th Test to remember as they broke their Quad Series drought with a 49-42 win in the 3rd v 4th playoff against South Africa.
Remarkably, it was a player who hadn’t even been born when Clarke first donned the red robe, Funmi Fadoju, who ensured England would leave Cape Town with something to celebrate.
It was a brave effort by the Proteas to accompany England through the three quarters. But last term, Roses coach Jess Thirlby stopped tinkering with his side and arguably put his best seven on the pitch to claim victory.
Player of the game, Fadoju finished with six wins, including four steals, despite starting the playoffs from the bench in a surprise move by Thirlby.
“I am so surprised. If you look at the stats, defensively she’s ranked number two in this competition. For her not to start in this important game, especially against (Nichole) Taljaard who has really been outstanding for the South African team, that’s something we’re all interested in seeing how that plays out.” , said commentator Nontle Gwavu. -Game.
But once Fadoju was introduced in the second, she took over the game.
Taljaard was benched in the third, and Proteas coach Norma Plummer had to turn to both Nomfundo Mngomezulu and then Ine-Marie Venter last term to try and counter Fadoju’s dominance.
But nothing could stop the 20-year-old English wonderkid.
“There were questions about how this England team would react after the loss, the draw and the loss,” said commentator Caroline Barker.
“They saw South Africa come back to them blow after blow after blow but it was the England Roses who held on and finished third in the Quad Series.”
It was a brilliant win to celebrate Clarke’s historic match, as she became the second player to reach the incredible milestone behind Kiwi great Irene van Dyk.
Clarke has revealed she stitched her junior coach Mike Greenwood’s name into her dress under the England logo as a memento of her incredible journey.
“For her to still wear that red dress for 20 years, she really is a phenomenal woman. She has truly been a leader for the Roses,” Nontle Gwavu said on Fox Netball.
Both sides were yet to register a victory in Cape Town, having played out a thrilling draw in their previous pool game ahead of the qualifiers.
It was England who got the first break against the Proteas, netting seven goals as the defensive trio of Geva Mentor, Fran Williams and Layla Guscoth stood tall.
But the Roses’ big problem erupted once again as they then coughed up a seven-goal run against South Africa as the attack paid dearly for forcing the ball in.
Helen Housby had three turnovers in the first term before being benched for the second, with Cardwell being sent off to GA and Olivia Tchine entering GS.
And the second term turned into “the ultimate wrestling match” as the two teams traded steals and goals.
Only a late Geva Mentor interception gave the Roses the lead heading into the second half, 25-23.
The tussle continued into the third term as both defensive ends took over, limiting both teams to 11 goals apiece.
In the final quarter, it was England who kept their cool as the Proteas attacking entry simply crumbled under defensive pressure from the Roses.
It was a disappointing end for the host nation in their last international clash ahead of the World Cup in Cape Town from July.
“We should be really proud of some game passages that we have shown,” Proteas captain Bongiwe Msomi said.
“We have to be consistent.
“We know we are better than what we released.
“There is a lot of work to do.”
England: GS Eleanor Cardwell, GA Helen Housby, WA Natalie Metcalf, C Jade Clarke, WD Layla Guscoth, GD Fran Williams, GK Geva Mentor
South Africa: GS Lenize Potgieter, GA Nichole Taljaard, WA Izette Griesel, C Bongiwe Msomi, WD Khanyisa Chawane, GD Karla Pretorius, GK Phumza Maweni
Source : BBNWORLDNEWS