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Birmingham, netball, Australian Diamonds, Wales, Paige Hadley

Australia’s unbeaten run continued with a 46-wicket win over Wales on Tuesday night.

The Diamonds sit pretty atop the Pool A standings with a +201 goal differential after another big 79-33 win.

But coach Stacey Marinkovic’s sights are set on regrouping her Wales line-up for Thursday’s massive clash with world number four Jamaica.

The winner of that clash will top the pool and take on the second-strongest team in Pool B, where England and New Zealand sit.

Against Wales it was Gretel Buetta who continued her fine form and finished three-quarters as a goal-scorer with 26/27.

Cara Koenen scored 49 goals with an accuracy of 91% for back injuries.

Ash Brazil and Courtney Bruce had their hands full defensively in the half game.

Quarter by quarter match report

For the first time in this series, Cara Koenen was introduced to Gretel Bueta in her goalie to start as the goal shooter.

Captain Liz Watson was in WA and Ash Brazil in C, with Sunday Ariang, Courtney Bruce and Sarah Clough rounding out the defensive end.

Betty Crick gave Wales a good start after finding space at the back of the Diamondbacks.

The break-up between Ash Brazil and Kara Koenen has given Georgia Rowe her first look, despite the fact that many have been shunned by Courtney Bruce and Sarah Clough.

The Welsh midfield had no qualms about getting the ball to the 196cm line when going for goal against Australia.

It was Bruce who took the lead for the third time to finally get Australia a break, before Rowe scored his fourth goal of the match after a tough call.

Koenen took the vaccine from Australia.

Analyst Sue Gaudion said, “It’s an amazing combination of Bueta and Konen with their stature.”

A fadeaway header for Cone ensured Australia’s lead was pushed to five but Wales showed plenty of fight in the opener.

In her 50th Test cap, Crick was cautioned before the match was delayed for a sneaky goal that was bowled by skipper Nia Jones.

“This is a good little test for Australia. Of course, they were confident that the win would go their way, but it’s good for them to compete early in this tournament,” Cox said.

“They have only been tested in one quarter so far – the third against South Africa,” Gaudion said.

A late tip to Courtney Bruce ensured Australia led 20-11 at quarter time.

Coach Stacey Marinkiewicz made his second changes, with Kate Moloney at center and Keira Austin at wing-back, with the Brazilians pushed to full-back.

Brazil and Bruce continue to receive early tips and early interceptions.

Buetta and Koenen’s partnership continued to grow as the minutes rolled into the second period. A Welsh interception from the middle gave Australia another chance but Austin’s quick release was not to be missed.

Bruce and Claw are severely punished as Wells swings the ball.

At the other end, Austin and Moloney were looking for Coenen over the top, which, while it worked in the opening three rounds, did not stand up to the Jamaican defence.

“Shamera Sterling will eat[that long ball],” Cox warned.

But Cara Cone’s timing shows just how good she is.

A brilliant one-two between Bueta and Konen secured a 20-goal lead after the Brazilian won a loose ball.

At halftime the Districts were up 42-18.

Buetta was 100% with 18 goals at half-time with Steph Wood introducing him. Bruce made way for Joe Weston, but Ariang returned to WD on Sunday.

Austin’s decision to stay on the court against WA shows that center Paige Hadley is preparing for life without Diamond’s remaining three games without injury.

Even commentator Kat Cox was surprised by Aussie’s hand in WA, Aussie skipper Liz Watson.

“They don’t look as different (with a wing attack) as they do with Austin,” Cox praised.

When Wood joined her Sunshine Coast Lightning teammate Coenen in attack, the Aussies were level early in the third.

Sarah Clough had another interception converted by Wood for her first of the night.

Weston were on top of everything when Welsh referee Clare Jones telegraphed a cross-court kick and made her first interception and suddenly the margin was over 30 goals.

Commentator Cath Cox began to question whether Australia were thinking about the clash with Jamaica on Thursday.

Holding Koenen in mid-range, she turned and looked out of the circle instead of supporting herself.

“That comes because we’re playing a team that probably doesn’t have the extra skill level,” Cox warned.

“When we play Jamaica, are we pushing another pass or are we going back to the post?”

At three quarters Australia led 64-25.

In a dramatic move, coach Marinkevic could give fans a hint of what he’s in store for the Sunshine Girls clash, with Buetta returning to goal attack while Konen remained the shooter for all four quarters on trial.

Liz Watson moved into the middle, Austin stayed at WA and Moloney returned to WD.

Rowe’s ability to get on top has returned to Wales’ midcourt; What is missing in the third period.

Sarah Clough was slow to get up early in the fourth period after getting stuck with Rowe in the air.

Eleanor Roberts Wells gave her plenty to celebrate as she sank a long bomb after a Kara Coenen error. Koenen misses underneath and is then penalized for using the post on the rebound.

The two sides went goal-scoring in the final period and Keira Austin gave Wales another chance before the break, but Roberts was unable to put the ball away.

The Aussies scored seven goals in the first eight minutes when Cox questioned whether Watson’s move into the middle suited Diamond.

“It wasn’t like Austin and Watson were in the circle for me,” Gaudion said.

A patient Welsh approach continued to pay off in the final moments as Roberts – with her unusual shooting style – scored another goal from distance.

Austin, Koenen and Bueta all put their bodies on the line in the dying seconds as the Aussies cruised to a 79-33 victory.

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