Four years after the New Zealand Silver Ferns snatched a Double Extra Time victory to win Gold, we are just two sleeps until the Australian Netball Team begins their road to retribution; striving to bring home the Gold Medal for the first time in 12 years.
The Aussie’s 2014 Commonwealth Games campaign gets underway this Thursday 24 July, in Glasgow, where they’llhit the court at 10:30pm AEST to play their first match against Wales, ranked eighth in the International Netball Federation World Rankings.
Their second match could prove to be the highlight of the preliminary rounds when Australia comes up against England at 6:30pm on Saturday 26 July – a team that contains five players who featured in the 2014 ANZ Championship, including their Captain and NSW Swifts’ 2015 recruit Jade Clarke.
The Australians warmed up for the big event with a hit-out against 2013-14 English Super League Champions Manchester Thunder, claiming a 58-52 victory, before departing their training camp base in Manchester for Glasgow.
Australian coach Lisa Alexander said there were still things to work on before the first whistle of their Commonwealth Games opener.
“A tough game like that was exactly what we needed, practicing the things that we’ve been working on at training,” Alexander told netball.com.au.
“We know now we need to go back and do a little bit more timing work in attack and that’s what we’ll do.”
While the rest of their Australian Commonwealth Games team are counting down the Wednesday night’s opening ceremony, 2015 NSW Swifts Kimberlee Green, Sharni Layton, Caitlin Thwaites, Julie Corletto and their Aussie netball teammates will be resting up at the Athletes’ Village ready for their first hit-out the following day.
Australia’s Commonwealth Games Schedule*:
Thursday 24 July: Australia v Wales @ 10:30pm
Saturday 26 July: Australia v England @ 6:30pm
Sunday 27 July: Australia v Barbados @ 8:30pm
Monday 28 July: Australia v Trinidad & Tobago @ 8:30pm
Wednesday 30 July: Australia v South Africa @ 6:30pm
Classification Matches: Thursday 31 July & Friday 1 August
Semi Finals: Saturday 2 August (7:00pm & 9:30pm)
Bronze Medal Match: Sunday 3 August @ 7:00pm
Gold medal Match: Sunday 3 August @ 9:30pm
*all times AEST
The XX Commonwealth Games will be broadcast by Channel 10, OneHD and Tenplay. Please check local guides for broadcast schedules.