The Australian Diamonds have made two big changes for game two of the Constellation Cup on Sunday night, with popular Swifts midcourter Maddy Proud handed her chance at an international debut.
Proud and GIANTS goaler Sophie Dwyer were presented their green and gold dresses in New Zealand on Saturday night ahead of the big clash with the Silver Ferns on Sunday.
Kiera Austin misses out on selection while defender Sunday Aryang has been ruled out with a minor calf strain.
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Interestingly, Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich has backed her defensive duo of Sarah Klau and Courtney Bruce, with just youngster Ruby Bakewell-Doran the only other defender named for game two.
Marinkovich opted to add more weapons to her attack end, despite Aryang’s injury.
Klau played just the first quarter of game one – where the Aussies went down 20 goals to nine – before Aryang was brought on.
The decision to bring in both Dwyer and Proud into the 12 was initially called for by former Diamonds skipper Kim Green after the shock eight-goal loss in game one on Wednesday.
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Another former Australian captain, Caitlin Bassett, says the Diamonds defence needs to lift for game two – after New Zealand’s back unit was simply “stifling” in the first clash.
“It’s really tough to pick up ball when you’re playing against a side who have such momentum – especially going into their attack end with a target like Grace Nweke,” Bassett said.
“It’s like playing against a (superstar Jhaniele) Fowler – you know you’re not going to win every single ball off them, but when you can try and slow them down, pick off some ball out in front, you need to make sure you are then putting that score on the board down your own end.”
Midcourter Jamie-Lee Price was one of the standouts in game one, after coming on midway through the second term.
Green said she’d like to see 26-year-old given more court time, while netball great Cath Cox said the performance put Price “at the forefront” of coach Marinkovich’s mind.
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“She was bitterly disappointed (to miss Commonwealth Games selection in July)… I thought she was fantastic and a great start for her. I hope to see her start,” Green said.
Ruby Bakewell-Doran, Courtney Bruce, Sophie Dwyer, Sophie Garbin, Cara Koenen, Sarah Klau, Kate Moloney, Amy Parmenter, Jamie-Lee Price, Maddy Proud, Liz Watson (c), Steph Wood (vc)
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