Diamonds make easy work of New Zealand in Nations Cup opener

The Diamonds' Liz Watson was one of the stars in an overall team effort.

The Diamonds' Liz Watson was one of the stars in an overall team effort. Photo: AAP

Australia’s netballers have downed arch rivals New Zealand by 13 goals in a triumphant start to their international year.

The Diamonds prevailed 63-50 in their Nations Cup opener in London with midcourter Liz Watson the dominant force.

Watson recorded 44 circle feeds with Cara Koenen (23 from 26 shots) and Sophie Garbin (17 from 18) cashing in.

“To have that scoreline against the Ferns is a big win for us, which is awesome,” Watson said.

“I am really loving this group. We’re very close, we’ve had lots of fun and a really nice build.

“We’ve been training obviously through the Christmas period … it’s an awesome group to be a part of.”

‘Absolute grind’

Australia’s coach Stacey Marinkovich tested several combinations during the win with all 12 of her squad getting game-time.

Only Watson and goalkeeper Courtney Bruce played the entire fixture.

“It was an absolute grind,” Bruce said.

“We knew how tough New Zealand were going to be, we played them in a practice match the other day, so we knew what they were going to put out there.

“But that four-quarter performance … was fantastic.”

The Diamonds meet host England on Monday morning AEDT in a rematch of last year’s World Cup final won by the Australians.

The Nations Cup also features world No.7 Uganda, with the nations playing each other in a round-robin format and the top two advancing to the final.


Topics: Netball
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