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  • Dan Crouch

Australia rout England to regain netball World Cup

The Diamonds celebrate their World Cup victory after a 61-45 win over England. Picture: Halden Krog.

Australia have delivered a dominant display to win the netball World Cup for the 12th time, regaining the crown with a clinical and classy 61-45 victory over England in the final in Cape Town.

The Diamonds were far more ruthless and precise than in their one-goal loss to England on Thursday in the group stages and Sunday's final was effectively over at three-quarter time once Australia had surged into a 10-goal lead.

Australia converted more turnovers into goals than England, with circle defenders Courtney Bruce and Jo Weston particularly outstanding.

Inspired by some of the comments emanating from the England camp after their group defeat, the Diamonds delivered one of their best performances, according to their retiring star Ash Brazill after her final match.

"For the last 10 minutes, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face," said Brazill.

"England beat us in the rounds and everyone loved targeting us. Helen (Housby, the England star) said they were fitter and more energetic than us and that just got everyone fighting."

"We really wanted to beat Jamaica (in the semi-final) so we could play against these guys again, and we've done it the way we wanted to. The last two games were some of the best netball we've played in a long time.

"I'm so proud of these girls. The fact we're standing here as world champions, I just couldn't wish for a better ending. I'll never play netball again - how can I top this?"

Coach Stacey Marinkovich named the same starting seven for the third straight game, but replaced both shooters in the second quarter.

"That's the class of this group that I can turn to anybody and they will come out and play their role and they've done it all across the tournament," Marinkovich said.

The score was tied 13-13 at quarter time, but Australia pulled away either side of halftime, outscoring England 14-10 In the second and 19-13 in the third.

They maintained their intensity to the end, winning the final quarter 15-9.

"It's unbelievable just to come back the way we did (after losing to England)," Diamonds captain and wing attack Liz Watson said.

"This group, I'm so proud to lead them, they are an amazing group of athletes."

With South African president Cyril Ramaphosa among those enjoying the action in the crowd, England's best moments came when they twice edged ahead by one early in the second quarter.

Marinkovich rejigged her shooting combination with Sophie Garbin (27/32) and player of the match Kiera Austin (15/17) coming on for starters Cara Koenen (10/10) and Steph Wood (9/10).

Weston and Bruce forced turnovers with Australia then scoring four unanswered goals to set up a 27-23 halftime lead.

Goal attack Austin said: "We promised to write our own script and we did."

Bruce was named the defender of the tournament, New Zealand's Kate Heffernan the premier mid-courter and Housby both the player and shooter of the competition.

"I'm just so proud of the girls they all came out, that was like a collective effort," Marinkovich said.

"England were classy they were hard, we had to be at our best.".

Earlier, Jamaica had earned their fourth World Cup bronze medal with a 52-45 win over 2019 champions New Zealand in third-place play-off.

Jhaniele Fowler shot 43 off 44 for Jamaica to seal New Zealand's worst-ever World Cup result, the first time they haven't won a medal. 


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