Diamonds start WC prep with Manchester win

Australia's Diamonds have beaten Manchester Thunder in a five-term practice match as they begin their build-up to this week's Netball World Cup in Liverpool.

LISA ALEXANDER Head Coach of Australia during the Vitality Netball International Series match at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
LISA ALEXANDER Head Coach of Australia during the Vitality Netball International Series match at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. Picture: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Australia warmed up for the start of this week's Netball World Cup by beating English Super League Champions Manchester Thunder 94-62 in a five-term practice match on Sunday.

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander used the match to try out new options and combinations as her side looked to shake off their long flight to the UK, but found their well-drilled opponents - who also entertained both Jamaica and England over the weekend - going goal-for-goal for the opening 15-minutes.

Among those sitting out the game was skipper Caitlin Bassett - the only member of the Australian squad to have played in the Diamonds' last two World Cup winning teams in 2011 and 2015 - who was rested after sustaining a mild concussion in a team practice session.

Australia, who held a five-goal lead at the end of the first quarter, were 37-29 ahead at the second break and extended their lead to 14 points at the end of the third.

The introduction of Jamie-Lee Price for the fourth term added additional passing nous as the tourists extended their 23-goal fourth-term lead immediately in the fifth, eventually ending the game 32-goals up.

"I think England scored 78 goals against them (Thunder) over four quarters and we ended up with 75 so I'm actually quite pleased with that," Alexander said.

"If you're comparing like for like, then I'm pleased with that."

The Diamonds have another warm-up match on Tuesday when they take on England A, which captain Bassett is also expected to sit out.

However, a team release on Sunday said she is expected to have recovered in time for Australia's opening World Cup match on Friday, when they face Northern Ireland in host city Liverpool.


AAP