The Diamonds will enter their second World Cup clash against Zimbabwe as one of the most impressive teams to play on day one of the competition, with a profound 64 goal win over Northern Ireland.
Following a fairytale run to netball’s premiere tournament, the 13th ranked ‘Gems’ continued to shock the netball world winning 79-49 against Sri Lanka.
Yet, the firepower of Australia could be a harsh wakeup call for Zimbabwe, who are playing in their first ever World Cup.
After being starved of adequate financial aid, the Gems were forced to miss several friendly matches, contributing to a turbulent preparation period. Yet, the team of World Cup debutants will be aiming to capitalise on the experience of playing a first-class side early in the competition.
Whilst Australia’s wealth of World Cup experience is hard to ignore, Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has ensured no opposition will be taken lightly, particularly following Zimbabwe’s impressive attacking efforts.
“It’s an enormous challenge for us, this World Cup,” she told AAP
“We have to really prepare well so we can achieve victory and we know it’s not going to be easy."
With just three Diamonds players possessing World Cup experience, Alexander will be looking to inject game time into her young guns, whilst also fine-tuning her optimal line-up.
“We want to get everyone out early,” Alexander said.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be seeking to capitalise on the unwavering leadership of captain, Perpetua Y. Siyachitema and the invaluable experience of Adelaide Muskwe. The agile defender has spent the past year playing for the Seven Stars in UK’s Superleague.
Yet, Australian wing attack, Kelsey Brown has ensured the Diamond’s immense depth will be able to stifle Zimbabwe’s high intensity game style.
“I think the best thing is we've got 12 players and 100s of combinations. We've got massive depth so who knows what is to come in the next few days” Brown said in her press conference following the win to Northern Ireland.
Catch all the action as Australia take on Zimbabwe from 5:45 AEST on 9Gem.