15 Aug 2015

Australia to face New Zealand in World Cup final

6:44 pm on 15 August 2015

Australia will play New Zealand in the Netball World Cup final after the Diamonds won their semi-final 67-56 against Jamaica in Sydney on Saturday.

Silver Ferns defenders Casey Grant (left) and Casey Kopua battle it out with Australia shooter Caitlin Bassett.

Silver Ferns defenders Casey Grant (left) and Casey Kopua battle it out with Australia shooter Caitlin Bassett. Photo: NWC 2015

Caitlin Bassett led the way for Australia with 49 goals from 52 attempts.

Yet another chapter of the fierce rivalry between the world's two best teams will be written on Sunday when the hosts and defending world champions aim to overcome the unbeaten Silver Ferns and claim an 11th world title and third on the trot.

Against fourth-ranked Jamaica, they showed every bit of flair and versatility they'll require to dismantle the in-form Kiwis, who were ruthless in their 50-39 semi-final defeat of England earlier on Saturday.

But this World Cup semi-final rematch from Singapore 2011 was not the comfortable 36-goal drubbing of the Sunshine Girls four years ago.

Sharpshooter Romelda Aiken (33 goals from 36 attempts) towered over her Queensland Firebirds teammate and Diamonds goalkeeper Laura Geitz who, try as she did, simply couldn't climb high enough to intercept the long bombs that came Aiken's way.

And there were many, as the Jamaicans' patience and composure paid off to ensure there were only two goals in it after the first quarter.

The pivotal battle was in the centre third, where Australia's tireless wing defence Renae Hallinan and goal defence Julie Corletto were diligent against a driving Shanice Beckford.

Key Jamaican wing defence Sasher-Gaye Henry appeared to tweak her ankle early on, but recovered and was all over Kim Green as she tried to feed a heavily defended Bassett.

Green was freed up early in the second quarter when Jamaica coach Minneth Reynolds moved Henry to wing attack after centre Paula Thompson limped off with a leg injury.

From there on the Aussies found their fluency, with centre Kim Ravaillion and goal attack Natalie Medhurst finding the space they needed to go with their fancy footwork.

The Diamonds got lucky a couple of times when the ball flew out of play via Bassett, only for the umpires to call contact to give the hosts the penalty shot.

Green suffered an injury scare when she fell in the third stanza, but played on for the full 60 minutes, as Sharni Layton came on for Geitz the final quarter to help wrap up proceedings.