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 TAT  Sports Reporter Aimee Dawson                                                                                                                 Image: netball.com.au

 

The Australian Diamonds have claimed the 2015 Netball World Cup title for the third time in a row, after defeating the New Zealand Silver Ferns 58 -55.

The Diamonds not only recorded their highest world cup netball score against New Zealand in regular time, but it is also the first time any team has won back-to-back Commonwealth Games gold and World Cup gold since 1999.

Australia only won the first quarter of the match, but it was enough to give them a maintainable lead, with New Zealand scoring more goals in the last three-quarters.

Australian captain, Laura Geitz’s defensive efforts in the first quarter gave Australia five goals in a row which they managed to convert into a mammoth nine goal lead at quarter-time.

The margin continued to grow out to 11 in the second-quarter, with things looking dire for the Silver Ferns until an error by Australia gave New Zealand the chance to bring it back to eight goals at the half-time whistle, 30 – 22.

New Zealand made the only player change of the game going into the second half, with Leana de Bruin taking the court in goal defence to for the formidable defensive duo with captain Casey Kopua.

The change paid dividends, with New Zealand also scoring five goals in a row off their midcourt and defensive pressure, reducing the margin further to just six goals and keeping the game alive going into the final quarter of the match.

Natalie Medhurst was brilliant for the Diamonds in the final quarter, scoring four goals, having four goal assists and seven feeds for the final quarter.

Australia had the early run in the final quarter pushing the margin back out to eight before a quick last-effort comeback by the Silver Ferns saw the Diamonds win by only three goals.

Caitlin Bassett was crucial for the Diamonds, scoring 48 goals from 51 attempts, and Laura Geitz had a day out in defence, finishing with three gains, two intercepts and nine deflections.

Shooting coach for New Zealand and Australian netball legend, Vicki Wilson, said there was no mixed emotions for her after the match.

“[It’s] just extreme disappointment,” Wilson said.

“I don’t think we got a chance to get into the game, there was a lot of whistle and we just didn’t get into the game”

“To win the last three quarters, perhaps, we just need to get out of the blocks a little bit stronger.”

The match is star defender, Julie Corletto’s, final match of elite netball, after announcing her retirement earlier this year.

Her teammates were full of praise for Corletto, speaking about her after the match.

“I’m so unbelievably proud of her and the career that she’s had,” Diamonds wing defence, Renae Hallinan, said.

“I’m so proud of her, I can still remember the very first training when we ran out together in primary schools and then in under 13s for the Melbourne Waverly in our matching shorts and ever since then we’ve been twins and played alongside each other for years and years and years.”

The captain Laura Geitz also praised Corletto for her strength.

“She’s a warrior,” Geitz said.

“She inspires every single person that wears the green and gold and she just deserves all the success, she’s one of the most amazing human beings not only on the court but off the court she’s just another level.”

Lisa Alexander, Australian coach, also said this was a special moment for her.

“I’ve coached Jules for a long time so this is a very special moment,” Alexander said.

“The thing that was great about Jules is that she put it out there right from the start and she just wanted it to be about the team and she’s a team first girl and we’re going to miss her enormously in our group.”

Corletto said that she was struggling to hold her emotions back during the game.

“I was trying to hold my emotions back but it’s hard,” a visibly emotional Corletto said.

“The last 10 days in particular [were a battle].”

“As you can see, I’m pretty much broken now [with injuries], but I’ve got a gold medal and there’s nothing sweeter than that to finish on such a high.”

Final Standings

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. England
  4. Jamaica
  5. South Africa
  6. Malawi
  7. Wales
  8. Uganda
  9. Trinidad and Tobago
  10. Samoa
  11. Fiji
  12. Scotland
  13. Barbados
  14. Zambia
  15. Singapore
  16. Sri Lanka