Netball World Cup Final Preview – England vs. Australia

Eleanor Cardwell against Courtney Bruce and Sarah Klau - Credit: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023

It all comes down to this. The Vitality Roses take on the world number ones, the Australian Diamonds, for the chance to win a first Netball World Cup title, live on BBC Two and Sky Max.

Earlier today, Jess Thirlby’s side became the first England team to reach a World Cup final after clinching a dramatic victory over the reigning champions, New Zealand – the first time in five semi-final meetings with the Silver Ferns at a World Cup.

Meanwhile, Australia overcame a relentless Jamaica side to reach a ninth consecutive final.

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The Diamonds, who have won a record 11 World Cups, bounced back after losing out to England on Thursday in the final pool game – the first time they have lost to the Roses at a World Cup in 14 meetings.

Australia have never lost more than once at Netball World Cup, whilst no Roses team has ever won a gold medal at the Netball World Cup. Can England repeat their heroics from two days ago and make even more history?

Vitality Roses celebrate victory against New Zealand – Credit: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023

Head to head:

In the final pool game of Preliminaries Stage Two, England came from eight goals down in the second quarter to snatch victory in the final seconds and claim a first win against the Diamonds since January 2019.

The two sides didn’t meet after this time for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When they did meet at the 2022 Quad Series, the two sides played out an entertaining draw before the Diamonds took the series title a day later. Later that year, Australia came out on top in a tense semi-final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, winning 60-51.

Since then, the Vitality Roses have experienced an overseas series in Australia, where despite a 3-0 defeat, new prospects including Funmi Fadoju and Olivia Tchine were given the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the red dress.

The sides then finally met at the Quad Series in Cape Town earlier this year where England won the first and final quarter but were undone by a strong third quarter by the Diamonds.

Geva Mentor competing with Cara Koenen for the high ball – Credit: Michael Bradley

Ones to watch:

Captain Liz Watson was in imperious form for the Diamonds against the Jamaica Sunshine Girls in the semi-final this afternoon, registering 50 feeds, 20 goal assists and an intercept as she led her team to an impressive hard-fought win.

Meanwhile at the back, Courtney Bruce showed why she is one of the most feared goal keepers in the world as she challenged Jamaica’s powerhouse Jhaniele Fowler, playing her 100th game for the Sunshine Girls, for a full 60 minutes and affected a crucial turnover with just five minutes left to play.

Courtney Bruce against Jhaniele Fowler in the Netball World Cup semi-final – Credit: Ashley Vlotman

Coaches corner:

Commenting after the Vitality Roses’ victory this morning, Head Coach Jess Thirlby said: “I’m really typically very proud, like I’m a little bit overwhelmed with what the team have just been able to do. I think to win a game in that way is the most satisfying feeling… our capability on the court from a technical and tactical point of view, I’ve never questioned that or doubted it. I have 100 per cent belief in it. I think the journey we’ve been on is how to manage ourselves through momentum in games against the best teams playing at their best.”

Speaking about coming up against the Roses again, Diamonds Head Coach Stacey Marinkovich said: “You don’t need to do much to motivate this group. I think they’re just absolutely professional in what they do. They knew that we didn’t play the way we would have liked against England. We needed to address that and we needed to find that next level.”

Where to watch:

Watch the Vitality Roses in the Netball World Cup Final live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, and Sky Sports Max and Main Event, with the first centre pass at 5pm (UK time).

Keep up to date with what’s happening inside the England camp by following us on our socials @EnglandNetball.

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