DIAMOND:  Sunshine Coast Lightning, and Australian, shooter, Stephanie Wood.
DIAMOND: Sunshine Coast Lightning, and Australian, shooter, Stephanie Wood. John McCutcheon

Former Coast teammates set to collide on international stage

NETBALL: Sunshine Coast shooter Steph Wood says England might have beaten Australia at the Commonwealth Games but they have as strong a motivation to win the rematch on Wednesday as the disappointed Diamonds.

Wood, one of nine players from the Games in the Diamonds 12, said the one goal loss in the gold medal decider in May still stung.

But she said England, who vaulted into No. 2 on the world rankings behind Australia on the back of their upset win at the Games, also have plenty of motivation to win the Quad Series Test in Newcastle on Wednesday.

"It was pretty devastating. We went there to win the gold medal and lost it by one. It was devastating seeing them celebrating,” Wood said. "It is motivating. We do have a point to prove.

"But they have their own motivation. That was their first final and first time they had won a gold. They will want to prove it wasn't a fluke.”

Wood, who started in Saturday's Quad Series opener against South Africa in Auckland, said the win over the Proteas was perfect preparation for the Diamonds.

"It was a good, hard hitout and South Africa made us work for it in the first half,'' she said

Australia won the match 61-44 while England also drew first blood with their 52-39 thrashing of New Zealand in a record win for the hosts of next year's World Cup.

Wood said the Diamonds are quietly confident ahead of the rematch.

"We do have a quiet confidence but we will be doing our homework on them. They are dangerous,” she said.

If coach Lisa Alexander opts for the same shooting combination to start, Wood and Australian captain Caitlin Bassett will be reunited in the circle with their old Lightning teammate Geva Mentor.

The three won the last two Super Netball titles together but Bassett has now signed with the Giants for three years and English star defender Mentor with the Magpies for two seasons.


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