Australia will meet old rivals New Zealand in the Netball World Cup final thanks to a 67-56 semi-final win against Jamaica on Saturday in Sydney. The Netball Diamonds were already looking confident in the first four minutes of the first quarter, with the Jamaicans looking nervous. The world number one side had faced the Sunshine Girls at the World Cup 11 times previously, prevailing on each occasion.
The last time the sides meet was at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. The Caribbean girls looked to catch up to the Diamonds in the opening quarter ending at 15 points. Shooting accuracy was at 100% for Australia while Jamaica achieved 88%. In the Second quarter the North Americans still could not find their leap, only gaining 11 points. The Australians gained a comfortable 18 points to extend their lead.
The hosts are the only team to play in 116 World Cup matches across 13 tournaments, and have won an incredible 109. That was not abut to change here. The thirrd quarter looked much better for the Sunshine Girls, whose shooting accuracy was up at 92%
They had two brilliant turnovers and gained their highest points of the game in the third stanza, gaining 16 points, which was higher than Australia’s points in the same period. However the home side was still leading. The best interception of the match was in the third quarter by goalkeeper and captain of Australia Laura Geitz.
In the fourth quarter she was replaced by Sharni Layton. Jamaica started to play more aggressively in the final quarter. Caitlin Basset and Natalie Medhurst were tremendous with their shooting tactics, and overall shooting accuracy being at 94% for Australia. The host nation’s victory ensures a gold medal meeting on Sunday against the Silver Ferns, their old foes who beat them in the first pool phase last week.
Photo credit: Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015