MAIN PLAYER: Australian Diamonds defender Jo Weston trains at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
MAIN PLAYER: Australian Diamonds defender Jo Weston trains at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Patrick Woods

Diamonds cautious of Roses ahead of Quad Series opener

NETBALL: Australia is regarded as the powerhouse of the sport but key players are ultra-wary of England ahead of their Quad Series opener at Brisbane on Saturday.

The Diamonds started a four-day training camp on the Sunshine Coast on Tuesday, determined to produce a typically polished performance against one of their biggest rivals.

But the likes of Jo Weston and Madi Robinson are cautious of a Roses outfit, which contains several players who were prominent in the inaugural Australian league recently.

"I think it's going to be a really tough battle," the former said.

"We know England have some really high calibre players and they've definitely shown their wares out on court this year in the Suncorp Super (Netball) league.

"We're really working on trying to counter what they throw at us and to be as proactive as possible."

As a defender, the 23-year-old is particularly vigilant.

"(With) Jo Harten among the (Roses) shooting circle and especially Helen Housby, they're both very accurate and dynamic and athletic players," she said.

"They definitely have a lot of experience behind them and also know how to play a variety of different game styles so for us, as a defensive unit, that's a real challenge."

Midcourter Madi Robinson was equally alert.

"We need to be on our game," she said.

"We are always wary of whoever we came up against but definitely with England having seven players in the Suncorp Super Netball..."

She said there will be some insider information shared at training.

"A lot of us, this year in the Suncorp Super Netball, played alongside some of the England players so hopefully we'll be able to utilise some of those things we know about them."

Australia's the top ranked nation and England is third but just one goal separated the teams last time they met in February and as an indication of the visiting side's strength, goal keeper Geva Mentor was the Super Netball player of the year.

Recently-appointed Australian captain and goal shooter Caitlin Bassett will likely be pitched against her.

The two are both members of the Sunshine Coast Lightning, which won the Super Netball title, with Mentor at the helm.

"I think it will be a great contest (between them)," Robinson said.


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