10 Jul 2011

Australia to play NZ for netball crown

7:29 am on 10 July 2011

New Zealand are through to their fourth consecutive grand final of the netball world championship after a hard-fought 49-34 win over England.

The first half was an arm wrestle with the Silver Ferns only leading by five goals, 28-23 at half-time, but the world No.1 squad lifted in the second half.

Despite making the final, New Zealand coach Ruth Aitken says her side will have to improve if they're to beat Australia in tonight's decider in Singapore.

Aitken wants her side to work harder to find space in the decider.

Australia thrashed Jamaica 82-46 in the other semi-final with coach Norma Plummer opting to use her most experienced players against the athletic Jamaicans and the defending champions were able to control the tempo from the opening whistle.

The Diamonds hold the one prize the Silver Ferns don't own - the world crown.

In their last big meeting at the Commonwealth Games last year in Delhi, the Kiwis delivered heart-break for the Australians, winning in double overtime.

New Zealand are the world's top ranked team but a victory would see Australia overtake them.