Diamonds to face NZ after Jamaica win

By Nathan Paull
Kimberlee Green of Australia is challenged by Vangelee Williams of Jamaica. Picture: Getty Images

Australia will again meet old enemies New Zealand in the Commonwealth Games netball gold medal match after an impressive 57-42 semi-final win against Jamaica on Saturday.

The Diamonds will face defending champions, the Silver Ferns, for the fifth Games final in a row when they meet at Glasgow's 10,000-seater Hydro on Sunday, hoping to win their first gold since 2002.

New Zealand needed a last second goal from star Maria Tutaia goal to snatch a thrilling 35-34 victory against England in their semi-final.

Aussie coach Lisa Alexander said her team was prepared for anything New Zealand threw at them, including a shock return from injured shooter Cat Latu.

"We've got a great performance analyst who's done a hell of a lot of work on lots of combinations and we've actually got someone back in Australia doing more analysis for us now," she said.

"They'll get us the numbers and the patterns and we'll try to unpick it as much as we can."

World champions Australia got off to a healthy start against the fourth-ranked Sunshine Girls, jumping to a 13-9 lead at the first break.

At 198cm and 107kg, Jamaican goaler Jhaniele Fowler-Reid posed match-up problems for the Diamonds early, but her errant shooting prevented her from dominating the game as she can.

The Jamaicans, however, persisted to lob aerial balls in to Fowler-Reid and Australia's defenders Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto had mixed success neutralising the threat, with their team holding a narrow 24-23 lead at the half.

Alexander, who only made two midcourt changes at the break, kept faith in her defenders, which paid off with a comfortable 40-32 scoreline heading into the final term.

Captain Geitz said she welcomed the bruising battle against Fowler-Reid ahead of the gold medal clash.

"It was a fantastic challenge and what I need obviously in order to get me firing for tomorrow," she said post-match.