Diamonds seal series with monster win

The Australian Diamonds have hailed their series-sealing thrashing of England and insist there will be no let up in the third and final Test.


After a see-sawing first half, Australia blew the Roses away after the break to set up a crushing 16-goal victory on the back of a superb shooting display by Caitlin Thwaites and another standout performance by Sharni Layton.

The Diamonds underlined their status as the world’s best by crushing the No.3-ranked England 60-44 at London’s Copper Box arena on Friday night, taking an unassailable 2-0 series lead.

It also goes some way towards erasing memories of the horror 2013 UK tour, which ended in a whitewash 3-0 victory to England – a goal Australia hope to emulate in the third and final Test on Sunday (Monday 0530 AEDT).

“Absolutely we want the sweep,” Thwaites told AAP.

“We’re always looking to step out on court and take a really convincing win. We’re still looking to build on the two performances we’ve had.

“We still had those ups and downs that we still need to iron out.”

Defensive specialist Layton earned back-to-back player-of-the-match awards with another stellar display, grabbing more interceptions (six), rebounds (three) and deflections (seven) than any other player.

A 38-goal haul from Thwaites was complemented by a perfect 15 from 15 to Natalie Medhurst, while rising star Liz Watson also impressed in her maiden international start.

But most pleasing for the Diamonds was that, unlike in the first Test when they struggled to put England away, they were able to run away with the game.

“This time we were able to push on and that’s something that we, as Aussies and as Diamonds, we really pride ourselves on, putting our foot on the pedal,” Gabi Simpson told AAP.

“It’s ingrained in us. You push on. And if you look to the bench during the game, (coach) Lisa (Alexander) is screaming that whole time.

“So if you take your foot off the pedal for one second, she’s on your back.”

After shooting out of the blocks to take a 5-0 lead, poor passing and handling at the offensive end hindered the Diamonds’ charge in the second quarter as England began to take control.

Repeated turnovers from Gretel Tippett and Thwaites allowed England to open up a four-goal lead at the midpoint of the second quarter before Tippett was subbed off with an ankle injury.

Alexander turned to veteran Medhurst – who had again started at wing attack – to step into the more familiar role of goal attack and the move had an immediate impact, with Australia quickly erasing England’s lead to go into the major break up 25-23.

With the momentum well and truly in their favour, Australia pounced to smash the home side 35-21 in the second half – winning the third quarter 19-10 and the fourth quarter 16-11.