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Diamonds show poise and  class in second half over South Africa

Following a dominant first game against the Silver Ferns, the Australia Diamonds were looking to win and play at a high standard playing for the four consistent four quarters. After a tightly contested first half, the Australian Diamonds showed their class in the second half, defeating the SPAR Proteas by 20 goals, 60-40.

A Game Full Of Answers

Prior to the match, the Proteas were looking to put up a better performance after a disappointing first game against the England Roses. From the first whistle, the Spar Proteas came out with plenty of energy and playing with intent resulting in an intriguing first quarter. The Proteas definitely looked to continue the momentum in the second half however, Australia put a stop to that after a clear message was delivered from head coach Stacey Marinkovich, to push through the intensity of the match and find a way to stabilise the game.

To the Diamonds credit, the second half belonged to them, having the ability to lift the intensity and push through the third and fourth quarter. Their ability to switch the intensity to 110%, forced the Proteas into multiple unforced errors and left them scratching their heads with what to do. Even the Australian bench didn’t lift up on intensity as a way to campaign for their spot in the Commonwealth Games. In particular, Sunday Aryang and Sophie Garbin were able to respond to the challenge and apply the pressure from the third quarter onwards.

We also have to give credit to the defensive pressure the Diamonds applied during that half with the likes of Courtney Bruce and Sunday Aryang, Maddy Turner and Sarah Klau being a force of nature and completely shutting down the attack end of South Africa.

Sunday Aryang shining in debut match

Sunday Aryang made her debut on Sunday in the green and gold dress as the first Ethiopian born and South Sudanese descent for the Australian Diamonds. Aryang made the most of her opportunities providing the spark and energy the Diamonds needed in the defensive end, reading and shutting down Lefebre Rademan like a book, and coming out for those flying high balls. She comfortably teamed up with West Coast Fever teammate, Courtney Bruce and Swifts’ Klau and finished her time on court with one intercept and two deflections but it was her fire in the belly energy that really made her stand out to the fans watching.

Proteas unforced errors

For the Proteas, it was certainly not the way they wanted to finish the game in the second half and will be looking to finish the round-robin games with a win against the Silver Ferns. Whilst the penalty count was even for both teams, 38-38, turnovers would be a key message to address finishing the game with 35 turnovers compared to the Diamonds 24. In the second half, the Diamonds applied pressure and took control of the game and the SPAR Proteas couldn’t convert most of their opportunities under the post finishing 40/52 (77%).

In the coming matches it will be interesting to see if the Proteas can bring the intensity for four quarters as they started very well against Australia.

What to look forward to!

The Origin Diamonds set up a blockbuster match when they face the England Roses. For the Proteas, they will look to build on their good patches from the first half of the game against the Diamonds when they face the New Zealand Silver Ferns.

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