The Australian Diamonds will take on Jamaica in the Netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015 semi finals after a convincing 89-24 victory over Wales to wrap up the qualification round in Sydney tonight.
The 65-goal victory sees Australia finish unbeaten on top of its pool with a showdown booked against the Sunshine Girls for the second straight Netball World Cup to secure a place in the Gold Medal match.
Australia defeated Jamaica 82-46 in 2011 in Singapore.
The highlight of Australia’s victory over Wales in front of 12,065 at Allphones Arena was a career-best shooting performance by Caitlin Thwaites at international level.
Her 43-goal tally at 93 per cent accuracy eclipsed her previous best of 42 scored against Barbados in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
It was a clinical performance by the Diamonds as they held Wales to less than 10 goals in every quarter on the way to their posting their highest score of the tournament.
For the second consecutive game coach Lisa Alexander started with Thwaites and Erin Bell in the attacking goal circle and Rebecca Bulley partnered Sharni Layton at the other end of the court while youngster Paige Hadley stepped into the centre role.
Vice-captain Kimberlee Green, rested against South Africa, returned to wing attack.
It was a spirited opening by Wales, the number eight-ranked nation, but with Layton continuing on where she left off against the Proteas and Hadley’s lightning hands in attack the Diamonds got on top.
An 11-0 run mid-quarter was the catalyst behind Australia’s 20-8 lead at quarter-time.
That lead was quickly increased with the Diamonds scoring the first six goals of the second term and then another seven unanswered goal run late in the quarter, helping Australia to more than double its quarter time lead.
Thwaites and Bell missed only three between them in the first half as the Diamonds led by 28 goals at the main break.
Alexander introduced captain Laura Geitz and Kim Ravaillion into the game to start the second half with Green and Renae Hallinan earning a spell and Bulley and Hadley switching positions.
The Diamonds produced their highest scoring quarter of the tournament with 24 goals in the third term with Thwaites reaching her milestone just before the break as Australia led 67-21.
Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst replaced Thwaites and Bell in the goal circle to start the last term and enjoyed some important court time ahead of tomorrow’s semi-final. Australia shot more than 20 goals in every quarter of the game for the second time of its campaign.
The semi-final clash will be the 12th meeting between Australia and Jamaica at a Netball World Cup and 46th overall.
The first semi-final on Saturday will be played between New Zealand and England at 12.10pm (AEST).Official Result & Statistics
AUSTRALIAN DIAMONDS (89) defeated WALES (24)Australian Diamonds shooting statistics:
Caitlin Thwaites 43/46 (93%)
Erin Bell 24/26 (92%)
Caitlin Bassett 15/19 (79%)
Natalie Medhurst 7/8 (88%)Wales shooting statistics:
Chelsea Lewis 14/16 (88%)
Georgia Rowe 8/8 (100%)
Sara Bell 1/4 (25%)
Emma Thomas 1/4 (25%)