29 February, 2024
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Australia beat Scotland in Netball World Cup

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Australia’s unrelenting march towards the medal round at the Netball World Cup in Cape Town has continued with the Diamonds cruising past Scotland.

After three pool game victories, including racking up 101 goals against Fiji, Australia took on Scotland in the preliminary stage two round and finished with a 76-37 win.

While it was comfortable, it was the Diamond’s lowest score of the tournament with some fatigue creeping in as Scotland restricted Australia to less than 18 goals in both of the final two quarters.

The Diamonds rotated their roster, giving coach Stacey Marinkovich plenty to think about with a clash with fellow big guns England looming.

It was far from a faultless display from the world No.1 side with some of the combinations failing to click.

Marinkovich started with Sophie Garbin at goal shooter and vice-captain Steph Wood at goal attack and they built a 21-9 quarter-time lead.

Wood didn’t offer her usual weighty contribution, only managing two goals and a further three in the second stanza for a 43-17 half-time lead.

Goal defence Jo Weston left the court early in the second quarter after receiving a warning, which carried a threat of a suspension if she got a second.

Marinkovich rang the changes after half-time and the result was a little clunky but Scotland were also patchy and unable to mount any real fightback.

There was an injury scare for Courtney Bruce when the star defender collided with the goalpost and clutched at her hip but she managed to play out the third quarter.

Marinkovich was critical of the third-quarter effort.

“We’ve got to be better than that,” the coach told the players at three-quarter time.

“At the moment, it’s very one-dimensional.”

Garbin finished with 38 goals from 40 attempts to put her hand up for the high-stakes games to follow while fellow shooter Cara Koenen contributed 25 from 26.

Skipper Liz Watson, who shared the centre duties with Jamie-Lee Price, thought that the team was still “building nicely”.

Moving away from her usual wing attack role Watson said it was part of Marinkovich’s game plan to use players in different positions.

“There’s probably little runs that we want to try to stop a bit earlier,” Watson said.

“But I think to have different players out there, a different style of play from what we’ve been playing the last three days, to be able to adjust to that and still put 70 goals on the board is still really impressive.”

Australia’s next clash is against Malawi on Tuesday night (AEST).

-AAP

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