Sport

Laura to captain Aussie Diamonds for fifth time

Allora's Laura Geitz
Allora's Laura Geitz Contributed

ALLORA goal keeper Laura Geitz will captain the Australian team for a fifth time at a Commonwealth Games when the Diamonds do battle with South Africa at 6.30pm tonight (AEST) in Glasgow.

While Geitz is injury free, her Queensland Firebirds and Diamonds teammate Kimberley Ravaillion will be given until Wednesday morning (UK time) to prove her fitness ahead of the Australian Netball Team's final preliminary round game against South Africa.

Ravaillion missed Australia's game against Trinidad and Tobago on Monday after suffering a back injury during the team's warm-up.

The 21-year-old showed significant signs of improvement on Tuesday following treatment and will be given until the morning of the match  on Wednesday before a decision is made on her availability.

With the finals to come, the Australian team isn't expected to take any risk as the side prepares for the pointy end of the competition.

"That's the thing about this tournament, it's hard work, it's been a long season in particular for Australia and New Zealand so it's about managing the bodies very well," Australian coach Lisa Alexander said.

"(The players) understand that it's not over yet and they're climbing Mount Everest.

"We've got lots of work to go before we reach to end."

The Australians head into the final round robin game against South Africa at the Scottish Convention and Exhibition Centre (SECC) needing a result to secure top spot in Pool B ahead of semi-finals on Saturday.

The Australians are wary of South Africa after they narrowly went down to England 41-35 on Sunday.

"South Africa are hard at the ball, we played them a few years ago in our Quad-Series and they're getting better and better and pushed England all the way," Alexander said.

"We cannot take them lightly, in particular (shooter Chrisna) Bootha, who does beautiful work in the circle and shoots long, we're going to have to be right on our game."

The Australian Netball Team head into the final round robin game against a side they've not lost to in 30 previous international Tests.

The last time these two sides met was in Wellington, where Australian shooter Caitlin Thwaites made her international debut after coming on at half-time to finish the game with a perfect 23 goals from 23 attempts.

Australia has twice defeated South Africa at the Commonwealth Games en route to gold medals, beginning with a 68-38 victory in Kuala Lumpur followed by a 74-38 victory in Manchester four years later.

Australia, chasing their eleventh consecutive international Test victory, take on South Africa on Wednesday at 9.30am (6.30pm AEST).

Topics:  commonwealth games, diamonds, laura geitz



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