Commonwealth Games semi-final preview: Team England vs. Australia

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Helen Housby of England (R) shoots under pressure during the Netball Gold Medal Match on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on April 15, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Team England take on world number one side Australia in the semi-final with a place in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games netball final against Jamaica at stake.

Famously known as the Aussie Diamonds, Australia have medalled in every Commonwealth Games tournament and featured in the final of every tournament to date. The Australian team have won four Commonwealth Games gold medals and two silvers, never finishing outside the top two in the competition.

Australia have had a strong run in the group stages, opening their campaign with a 95-18 win over Barbados and continuing their blistering form beating Scotland by 53 goals. The Diamonds beat rivals South Africa (74-49) and Wales (79-33) in the group stages before their winning streak was put to a stop by Jamaica, who won by two goals (55-57).

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Australia finished second in their group for the first time in Commonwealth Games history and as a result, play Pool B winners England in the upcoming semi final.

How to Watch:

Date: Saturday 6 August

First centre pass: 14:30

Where to watch online: BBC iPlayer

Where to watch with your teammates: England Netball, South London’s iconic Pop Brixton and popular pub chain, The Botanist in BirminghamAlderley Edge and West Bridgford, Nottingham, are working together to create a series of designated ‘screening hubs’ where fans can come together, watch the sold-out games and enjoy the tournament as it unfolds. Grab your teammates and find out how to book here.

You can download the Netball schedule so you don’t miss a game and grab our watch-along Wall Planner so you can follow each team’s progress.

Head-to-Head Record

The semi-final will be the 52nd meeting between the two sides – the fifth at a Commonwealth Games. Australia currently lead the head-to-head win record.

Last Five Meetings:

Date Competition Result (for England)

19 January 2022

2022 Quad Series L 46-58

18 January 2022

2022 Quad Series D 48-48

20 January 2019

2019 Spring Quad W 52-49

19 September 2018

2018 Autumn Quad L 52-47
15 April 2018 2018 Commonwealth Games W 52-51


View From Inside the England Camp

Geva Mentor:

“They’re going to come out firing as they’ve obviously been disappointed with their performance [against Jamaica]. They kind of had it in patches of the game and just let that slip away. Their Assistant Coach is my Head Coach back in Australia so they’ll do a thorough review. They’ll look at our game [against New Zealand] and they’ll come out all guns firing on Saturday and I think it’s just important that we stick to our game plan and we make sure we take it up to that next level.

“I think before Australia just used to be a formidable force and we didn’t really know what to expect other than this high-class outfit and now we know these girls through and through [from playing together and against each other in Super Netball]. But on the flip side of that, they know us, they know our strengths and weaknesses so I think it just makes for a really interesting tussle.

“I think it’s just going to be a really exciting game and it’s going to be about what the coaches can do in a game plan, making those changes and who can get the edge. And I guess those momentum swings – riding them out and making sure we’re actually on the right side of the scoreboard.”

Jade Clarke:

“It’s so exciting – the top four teams are so close and in such good form so I think it doesn’t matter who you play, it’s going to be an amazing game. We’ll stick to the same processes, the same preparation on Australia, so keeping everything the same and a nice recovery day on Friday ready to go hard on Saturday.

“[Coming off the back of the defeat to Jamaica] Australia are true professionals and every time they step on the court they’re bringing their A-game so we’ve got to be prepared for that.”

Ones to Watch

Liz Watson 

Australia’s captain Liz Watson is decorated at both domestic and international level and is cemented in Australian netball as one of the best midcourters in international netball. She made a meteoric rise in Australian netball domestic league, making her debut in 2014 for Melbourne Vixens as a late call up, helping them to win the Premiership.

On the international scene, Watson made her debut for her national side in 2016 against England and has since been an integral part of the Diamonds setup. Watson has won silver at both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 World Cup. Watch out for Watson’s persistent offering on the circle edge, impressive hold and pinpoint feeds.

Steph Wood

Making her national debut in 2016, Steph Wood has totalled 39 caps for the Diamonds to date and is one of the best goal attacks in the world. Vice-captain for this Commonwealth Games Australia squad, Wood has won silver at both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 World Cup.

Wood has made an impact on the domestic scene in Australia – between 2015 and 2019 she was a key feature in five successive grand finalist squads. Wood won Premierships with Sunshine Coast Lightning in 2017 and 2018, and captained Lightning in the 2022 season. Watch out for Wood’s cool head under pressure, accuracy from anywhere in the circle and sound feeds from her WA experience.

Australia full squad:

Sunday Aryang, Courtney Bruce, Sarah Klau, Jo Weston, Liz Watson (Captain), Ash Brazill, Paige Hadley, Kate Moloney, Steph Wood (Vice-captain), Kiera Austin, Gretel Bueta, Cara Koenen.

Here’s a guide to the competition, including how you can follow all the action.

If you’re new to our sport and want to have a go yourself, we have programmes for everyone aged 5 to 95 from Bee Netball for children, to Back to Netball for those returning, to Walking Netball, a slower version of the game we love. Through the netball finder on our homepage, simply select play and enter your postcode and you’ll find a variety of sessions in your area.

Loved being in the crowd or watching from home? There’s more live netball coming your way in England this October – book tickets now.

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