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Australian Diamonds v England Roses, netball, semi final, old enemy, no love lost, preview, opinion, Nat Medhurst

There is no love lost between Australia and England, that is for sure.

On the international scene England are the nation teams love to hate, and they now meet the Diamonds for a spot in the gold medal match.

For the loser, it could mean no medal altogether.

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It’s obviously going to be an incredible match up against England and it’s going to be fiery.

This is probably the biggest game in these sorts of tournaments because a gold medal becomes absolutely irrelevant if you can’t win this one. There’s a lot on the line for these players.

I think Australia can certainly rebound from the historic loss to Jamaica but England are going to be a very hard opposition to defeat.

The way they played against New Zealand, they’d be full of confidence – and after all, it is their home Games.

They have an enormous amount of experience on that team as well, and they’ll be wanting to go back-to-back after the gold medal in 2018.

Australia just need to realize it’s not all doom and gloom.

They were incredible for two and a half quarters against Jamaica, and they just need to look at that and remember what they did well.

If I was coach Stacey Marinkovich, I would still stick with that same starting seven against England.

There’s not a lot of things that need to get fixed for the Aussies; the players who stayed out there should have learned a lot.

It is not impossible to make it to the gold medal match from here and win for the Aussies. While it hasn’t happened in a Commonwealth Games before, it has happened in a previous major.

The same thing happened to us in the 2015 World Cup – we lost a round match to the Silver Ferns and then ultimately beat them when it mattered in the gold medal match.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the learnings and how you adjust. These tournaments, that’s sometimes where the best team wins because it’s based on how smart you are and your ability to adjust quickly – you don’t have too much time to sit back and try and fix things.

The Diamonds just need to find a couple of things to tweak, especially in that attack line.

I think, for me, that’s where the game was lost against Jamaica.

They became really stagnant, it wasn’t clear on who was making leads, they didn’t give the ball, they started to become a bit more hesitant.

I think Gretel Bueta and Steph Wood lost that connection with each other with both of them trying to do too much work or then at times none at all.

They need to get back on the same page, driving hard for the ball and making it really clear and conscience on who is doing what in that attack line.

Part of me is really pleased in a way that Stacey kept that seven out there against Jamaica.

In the past, Australia have probably been really guilty of when they’ve been challenged of just chopping and changing all the team. The team has lost the ability to actually fight and get out of hard games.

Those players that were left out there, assuming they do their review properly, would have actually learned a lot by staying out there with that result against Jamaica.

If that same starting seven starts against England and the same thing happens again, they need strategies in place to combat it. Even if that is a positional switch between Bueta and Wood for a couple of center passes.

Bueta’s game will go really nicely against England goal keeper Geva Mentor.

With defending Shamera Sterling, the Jamaican came into the game and that’s when the hesitancy came into the attack.

Sterling is very good on the move as well as the hold, whereas against a Geva, a moving shooter is probably her biggest weakness and we know how well Gretel can move and how good she is in the air.

It’s unbelievable to think history could be made at this Commonwealth Games with neither Australia nor New Zealand making the gold medal match.

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