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19 July 2019 | Uncategorized

South Africa represent a ‘huge challenge’ – Bruce

Australia’s Courtney Bruce was proud of the way the Diamonds handled their first ‘big test’ of the Vitality Netball World Cup, but is wary of the size of the task that still stands between them and yet another World Cup final.

Bruce, who was Player of the Match as the Diamonds beat rivals New Zealand in the dying seconds on Thursday to confirm a semi-final fixture against South Africa, which will take place at 11:15am tomorrow.

She said post-match: “I guess that last 30 seconds was absolutely hectic. There was a lot of energy and emotion out there. It was a hard fought 60 minutes. It tested us the whole way, but I’m really proud of the girls, the way we finished that last 30 seconds, in particular, in the way we did, with that full team defensive effort.

“(It was) probably our first big test across all four quarters. We withstood the pressure really well in moments. Obviously, we still need to be able to ride out the momentum swings that are going our way and be able to push up from five goals, to six, to seven.”

Bruce, who now has 31 caps for her country, says that despite their impressive progress so far, Australia won’t be resting on their laurels.

Having won the three most recent World Cups – in Auckland, Singapore and Sydney – they arrived with only one objective: to win the tournament for a 12th time out of 17.

She explained: “We’ll do some recovery now and make sure we have got enough food into us, and then it will be a bit of recovery and start prepping.

“I think against South Africa, it’s going to be a huge challenge. They have had a fantastic tournament so far.”