15/04/2024

The Diamonds were too good in Game Two, sealing the England series with a comfortable win (Photo: Australia Diamonds -Twitter)

The Diamonds continue to shine brightly on home soil, claiming a series victory over the England Roses with a game to spare.

A fast start from the Diamonds proved to be too much for the Roses, with Stacey Marinkovich’s side making it four wins on the trot against England with a 56-48 victory.

For Australia, it was a near-flawless effort from every member, with Amy Parmenter playing a key role in defence and Kiera Austin dominating in attack.

Despite the loss, Eleanor Cardwell proved to be a handful once more in attack when she got going for England whilst young defender Layla Gustoch had a breakout game.

Parmenter affirms her position at wing defence

It’s been a remarkable rise since making her international debut only two and a half weeks ago and on Sunday evening it continued.

Having been rested for the first match on Wednesday, Parmenter came into this match in her home state raring to go and with fresh legs. And from the outset, she dominated across nearly every aspect.

Finishing with a team-high two intercepts plus four deflections and three gains, Parmenter teamed up well with Giants teammate Jamie-Lee Price to keep star Roses duo Jade Clarke and Natalie Metcalf quiet once more.

Whilst the Netball World Cup is still nine months away, Parmenter is starting to firm herself as the favourite to play in Wing Defence despite only having four games of international experience.

Austin does everything

Having only just come back onto the international stage in the Commonwealth Games three months ago talented shooter Kiera Austin has slowly started to find her feet at the level.

And after a quiet game on Wednesday, the sharpshooting Vixen started to find some form in the shooting circle. Combining well with Sunshine Coast shooter Cara Koenen, Austin finished with 22/24 from the field as well as eight goal assists plus 12 feeds.

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Not only was Austin shooting and consistently providing feeds/assists for Koenen, but her defensive work rate was reminiscent of her Super Netball season with the Vixens, finishing with an intercept, two gains plus three deflections.

It may have taken Austin a while to show her potential on the international stage, but now she is back in full flight and will look to have another strong performance this Thursday.

Diamonds’ defensive duo cause havoc

Whilst the attacking end for the Diamonds was on song once again, the defensive duo of Jo Weston and Sarah Klau proved to be invaluable once again.

After many promising performances in the three tests prior against the Silver Ferns and Roses, Weston was given the start alongside Klau ahead of series vice-captain Courtney Bruce who was rested by coach Marinkovich.

Against potent duo Helen Housby and Eleanor Cardwell, the duo fought gallantly all night and completely outran them. By full time they had a combined five rebounds, 12 deflections, nine gains plus the one intercept going the way of Klau.

The defensive circle of Australia runs as deep as all areas of the court, and that depth was on show for all fans to see.

Roses unearth another defensive gem 

On Wednesday it was young goalkeeper Funmi Fadoju that made herself known to Australian netball fans.

However, on Sunday it was Layla Guscoth’s turn to prove herself as a future prospect for England. Whilst Fadoju had another stellar performance, Guscoth came off the bench and had a massive impact for Jess Thirlby’s side, finishing with a game-high three intercepts, three gains, and one deflection.

With the likes of Stacey Francis-Bayman, Geva Mentor, and Eboni Usoro-Brown on the cusp or have already retired, the Roses have already started to look to the future. And young Guscoth will play a key role in years to come.

England’s slow start comes back to haunt it

Coming into this match needing to win to keep the series alive many believed the Roses would come out firing. However, that wasn’t the case.

Opting to take their time in possession and not just throw it into Cardwell in the shooting circle unlike on Wednesday, the Diamonds’ defence took full advantage and got off to a quick start.

Despite eventually fixing the way they moved the ball in the final few quarters it was too little too late for the Roses. Whilst the series may be over they’ll be looking to move the ball quickly once more on Thursday to catch the Diamonds off guard as well as pick up a consolation victory.

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