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Round 8: Vixens vs GIANTS

Match Day Guide

🦊 Round 8: Vixens vs GIANTS Match Day Guide

World Cup 2023: The road to gold

WC23 Wrap
8 months ago

The Australian Diamonds are 2023 World Cup champions, achieving the ultimate redemption after their silver medal performance in 2019.

Losing just one of their preliminary matches by a single goal, the Diamonds were near flawless in their journey to World Cup victory. Here’s how our Vixens helped claim their historic win!

PRELIMINARY MATCH 1 – ZIMBABWE

The team in green and gold began their campaign with an emphatic 56-goal victory over Zimbabwe.

Captain Liz Watson stood tall in a clinical performance and had notched up 24 feeds by half time.

Fellow Vixens Jo Weston and Kiera Austin were called onto court in the second half. Jo combined beautifully with Courtney Bruce in defence, while Kiera showed her versatility with an intercept to start the final term.

PRELIMINARY MATCH 2 – TONGA TALA

The Diamonds pulled out another convincing win in their second preliminary match, this time against Tonga Tala. The Australian midcourt were the stars of the show, expertly led by Liz in wing attack.

Tonga’s full court pressure didn’t make the match easy for the Diamonds, but a few settling goals from Kiera alongside a momentum-swinging intercept saw her side break away to an 85-38 victory.

PRELIMINARY MATCH 3 – FIJI

The Diamonds cemented their place at the top of Pool A with a stunning 101-32 win over Fiji. Carrying a 14-goal lead at the first break, the team put the foot down and never looked back.

Kiera shook things up in wing attack while Liz also made a second half cameo in centre, amassing an impressive 38 feeds.

Despite flashes of brilliance, the Pearls couldn’t keep up with the Diamonds’ pace and accuracy, Australia registering their third win in stage one of the preliminaries.

PRELIMINARY MATCH 4 – SCOTLAND

The Diamonds continued their dominance in their fourth match defeating Scotland 76-37.

Liz showed her versatility throughout the match, playing across centre and wing attack. Jo also made her presence felt, delivering an unyielding defensive effort alongside Sunday Aryang.

Kiera was injected into the lineup at half time, and despite the Thistles' late resurgence, it didn't thwart the Diamonds' already unassailable advantage.

PRELIMINARY MATCH 5 – MALAWI

Taking on Malawi in their penultimate preliminary match, the Queens made Australia sweat early in the match.

The two sides traded blows for the first ten minutes, with MJ Kumwenda shooting at perfect accuracy in the opening term.

The scores were tied at 28-all heading into the second half and Jo came face-to-face with her fellow Vixen in the circle, snagging a crucial deflection to send the ball down the Diamonds’ end.

It was all green and gold from then on, Australia going on to win the match by 24 goals.

PRELIMINARY MATCH 6 – ENGLAND

The Aussies went head-to-head with the Roses in the final match of the preliminary stages.

In an intense see-sawing affair, neither team could fully break away from the other as leads were chased down and momentum swung wildly throughout the sixty minutes.

The Diamonds managed to break away to an eight-goal lead late in the piece, but England stormed home to chase down the deficit, with Helen Housby shooting at 100% accuracy.

Jo pulled off an incredible intercept in the dying stages of the match to keep her side’s hopes alive but it wasn’t enough to keep the Diamonds’ winning streak intact, the Roses claiming their first ever World Cup win over Australia by a single goal.

Liz was named player of the match with 47 feeds and just two turnovers throughout the sixty minutes.

SEMI FINAL – JAMAICA

Fighting for a spot in the coveted gold medal match, the Diamonds came up against the unbeaten Jamaicans in their semi final.

The game began with frenetic pace, and it was clear that neither side would give an inch to the other.

Liz had another standout game as captain, amassing a huge 50 feeds despite the incredible defensive efforts of Shamera Sterling and Jodi-Ann Ward.

Following a stunning intercept from Courtney Bruce, the Diamonds managed to edge the lead out to three goals with two minutes left. Running the clock down expertly, the eventual champions held on to their lead and booked their spot in the big dance, the final score 57-54.

GRAND FINAL – ENGLAND

The Diamonds met the Roses again in the gold medal match and wasted no time showing their dominance against a side which had handed them their first World Cup loss just three days earlier.

In an incredible display of determination and skill, the Australians put on a clinical performance to claim a crushing 61-45 victory.

Kiera came into the match in the second quarter and was a game-changer, scoring 15 goals in an effort which earnt her player of the match honours. Jo was once again relentless in defence with three gains, while Liz led through the midcourt with 20 goal assists.

The win sees the Diamonds return from Cape Town as the reigning World Cup, Commonwealth Games and Quad Series champions.

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