By Aimee Dawson
The Australian Diamonds have made a successful start to their Netball World Cup title defence, defeating Trinidad and Tobago 73 – 32.
It was a shaky start for the Diamonds, who opted to begin with a different starting line-up than has come to be expected, with Erin Bell getting the start at goal attack over Natalie Medhurst, and Sharni Layton beginning in goal defence.
The nervous start gave Trinidad and Tobago the opportunity to take the front at 6 – 5, however a missed goal gave the Australians the opportunity to manufacture a lead.
After scoring 11 goals in a row late in the first quarter, Australia took a 16 – 5 lead into the first break.
Finding their stride, the Diamonds continued their run into the second quarter, scoring 19 goals to Trinidad and Tobago’s 11.
The Diamonds made a wealth of changes to their side going into the second half, giving players the opportunity to play at world cup level, and ensuring players are rested for future games.
The team took time to settle to the new changes, however by the final quarter, the team were firing and playing their best netball of the tournament, to bring the margin to over 40 goals.
The Diamonds claimed their 20th straight win, defeating Trinidad and Tobago by 41 goals.
Diamonds defender Sharni Layton was menacing in defence, finishing with four intercepts and six deflections, making her claim to be given a starting spot in the team against the best opponents.
The shooters were also on song, sharing the scoring between all four goalers.
Caitlin Thwaites, who is playing at her first World Championships, was the highest scoring, shooting 26 goals from 32 attempts.
Australia now sit second on their pool ladder, with New Zealand leading the pool by percentage.
Australia will play Barbados tomorrow.
Day One Scores
Wales, 59 defeated Fiji, 52
Jamaica, 90 defeated Samoa, 44
Singapore, 56 defeated Sri Lanka 43
Malawi, 58 defeated South Africa, 51
Uganda, 74 defeated Zambia, 38
England, 60 defeated Scotland, 19
New Zealand, 73 defeated Barbados, 28