The Australian Diamonds lead the way in the 2016 Quad Series after a solid 66-46 win over a spirited England Roses side in Adelaide on Wednesday, 31 August.
The English proved themselves to be worthy opponents in the opening two quarters and forced the Diamonds to play at their best to take the contest beyond the tourists.
Impressive goal shooter Jo Harten was one of many Roses who impressed on the night, but in the end the Aussies had too much class and saw the game out with a comfortable 20-goal advantage in their favour.
The first quarter was an even contest as Harten and goal attack Kadeen Corbin got the English off to a good start and an early lead. However, Caitlin Bassett was quick to respond for the Diamonds and showed trademark precision to get the Aussies back on level terms and then into the lead.
But, despite losing the first quarter 19-14, the English were far from overawed and they kept pace with the Diamonds with some good midcourt work the backbone of a fine effort which kept them in the contest, just six down (31-25) at the big break.
That would be as good as it got, however, as the Aussies stepped up their efforts in the final 30 minutes with stars like Sharni Layton making trademark intercepts to thwart the English attack.
They were also suffering in defence as Bassett and goal attack Natalie Medhurst combined well to rack up the goals quickly and suddenly England were 18 in arrears by the time the final break came about.
In the final quarter Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander was able to try out some new combinations and 2016 NSW Swifts star Stephanie Wood made her second Test appearance, coming on at goal attack.
She was soon joined by fellow 2016 Swift Caitlin Thwaites up front as the pair steered the Aussies home and in a good place ahead of Sunday’s big clash with the Silver Ferns in Melbourne.
AUSTRALIA | Q1: 19 – Q2: 31 (12) – Q3: 51 (20) – Q4: 66 (15)
ENGLAND | Q2: 14 – Q2: 25 (11) – Q3: 33 (8) – Q4: 46 (13)
AUSTRALIA: 66/75 @ 88%
C Bassett: 46/51 @ 90%
N Medhurst: 11/13 @ 85%
S Wood: 3/4 @ 75%
C Thwaites: 6/7 @ 86%
ENGLAND: 46/59 @ 78%
J Harten: 28/34 @ 82%
K Corbin: 10/14 @ 71%
E Cardwell: 3/5 @ 60%
H Housby: 5/6 @ 83%
AUSTRALIA | GS: Caitlin Bassett, GA: Natalie Medhurst, WA: Madi Robinson C: Kim Ravaillion, WD: Gabi Simpson, GD: Clare McMeniman, GK: Sharni Layton
ENGLAND | GS: Jo Harten, GA: Kadeen Corbin, WA: Serena Guthrie, C: Jade Clarke, WD: Beth Cobden, GD: Stacey Francis, GK: Ama Agbeze
Match MVP: Natalie Medhurst (Australia)