Diamonds confident of winning final after Silver Ferns shock England

Diamonds confident of winning final after Silver Ferns shock England

Liverpool: Australia believe playing two difficult matches back-to-back has been the perfect preparation for the Netball World Cup final against New Zealand.

The Diamonds will claim a 12th title with victory on Sunday over the Silver Ferns, who shocked unbeaten England 47-45 in Saturday's second semi-final at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

Edging closer: The Diaomds celebrate victory over South Africa at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool.Credit:PA

"I think we've gained a lot of confidence," said Thwaites, who converted all 30 of her shots on goal.

"Looking back to the Comm Games, we weren't challenged up until the final against England.

"So we've taken a lot of courage from the fact we have managed to hold our composure and grind our way through it.

"That holds us in really good stead for the final tomorrow."

Alexander dismissed claims she had selected a second-string side against South Africa after benching skipper Caitlin Bassett and her fellow attackers Steph Wood and Kelsey Browne – three of five changes.

However, the move could prove to be smart given how a largely inexperienced squad has had to fight hard to reach the final and Alexander is delighted with the fighting spirit shown by her players.

"The great thing is we are putting into practice the things we have worked hard on over the last three weeks which is to find a way to score when we have to and find a way to get turnovers when we need them," Alexander sad.

"The other day when we played New Zealand we had the opportunity to put those players out there.

"Against South Africa we were able to do that again with the other players and that is only a good thing going in to the final."

Upset: Maria Folau with the ball for New Zealand against England.Credit:AP

New Zealand, who have the most experienced squad in the tournament, were tipped by many to miss their first final since 1995 against an England team that beat a scintillating Diamonds side to win Commonwealth gold on the Gold Coast last year.

However, the Silver Ferns used all of that experience to their advantage to silence a noisy and partisan home crowd and coach Noeline Taurua said they head in to the final with nothing to lose.

"I'm a bit lost for words," Taurua said.

"We've got one more game to go to get the gold and that's what we're going for.

"We've already won in some respects. We were underdogs coming into this game. There's nothing else for us to worry about."


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