Australian midcourter Kim Green has announced her retirement from global netball a day after Australia’s 58-55 World Cup final win over New Zealand in Sydney.
The Diamonds set up the win in the first quarter, charging out to a 16-7 lead at the first change, keeping New Zealand to its lowest-scoring quarter of the tournament.
New Zealand began well and led 30-24 at the break before Malawi began to find their feet in the match, cutting the deficit to three by the end of the third quarter.
With the score at 43-37 going into the final quarter, New Zealand scored four out of the last five goals but time ran out on their comeback and Australia were crowned world champions for the third successive time.
The match tightened considerably in the third quarter.
Australia was the bear that was poked in the preliminary rounds of the Netball World Cup, and the proud and hugely competitive beast that responded in the match that mattered.
The prevailing story of those finals has been that of Australia triumphing in tight encounters, with the largest winning margin in those finals being just four goals.
“Sometimes if I’m getting nervous I’ll just remind myself that we’ve done all the preparation, we know what we have to do, and just smile and enjoy the experience”.
That Wales against some of the world’s leading nations and Wilcox says her team are enjoying the opportunity to come up against full-time professionals.
The Diamonds, who have won all 32 encounters between the teams, came out hard from the start, and were 11 goals up before the Proteas scored their first goal. If they win, they are likely to play Malawi, in a repeat of the last World Cup, where South Africa finished fifth.
On the resumption, England kept their foot on the accelerator, with Harten and Pamela Cookey – who scored 14 from 18 – keeping Jamaica at bay.
For New Zealand, Sunday’s final was yet another heart-breaking moment in their recent history against rivals Australia.
Long-time teammate Nat Medhurst was among those to pay tribute to the fearless and brilliant goal defence after what coach Lisa Alexander described as an “amazing” effort against key Silver Ferns shooter Maria Tutaia.
“It is one of the best game I have seen Laura play, she put everything out there on the court and left nothing behind”, Creed said.