Thwaites leads Diamonds to easy victory
NETBALL: Caitlin Thwaites has scored her 500th international goal as the Diamonds made it two from two in the Quad netball series with an emphatic 62-46 victory over South Africa in Durban this morning.
In a physical encounter with a side now mentored by former Australian coach Norma Plummer, the Diamonds lead at every quarter thanks to strong defence and top-notch shooting.
Thwaites shot an impressive 35 from 37, Susan Pettitt a perfect seven from seven and Gretel Tippett recorded a personal best shooting performance with her 20 from 25.
The win followed on from the Diamonds 57-50 defeat of New Zealand in South Africa on Sunday.
Australia, South Africa, England and New Zealand now travel to the UK for the final games of the Quad series which includes the Diamonds taking on the host nation on Sunday.
"It was a pretty tough game. It was very physical and it threw our timing off a little in attack," Thwaites said this morning.
"But it was great we were able to grind through it and get the win."
Within the first minute of the game, Thwaites scored her 500th international goal for Australia as the Diamonds jumped out to a 17-9 lead.
Tippett contributed seven goals in the period to improve on her previous best haul of six, then went on to better her record of nine goals in a Test with her game tally of 20.
"I thought it was very strong performance from her tonight. It built on what she did last year in England with (Caitlyn) Thwaites as well. They had some really nice passages of play," said coach Lisa Alexander.
Australian goal defender April Brandley took match MVP honours with Lenzie Potgieter best for the Proteas with 34 goals from 39 attempts.