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Australia wins Netball World Series – with 4 homegrown superstars

The Australian Fast 5 side, consisting of four South Australians, have claimed back-to-back titles after winning gold at the Fast 5 Netball World Series.

Lucy Austin, Georgie Horjus, vice-captain Hannah Petty, and Tayla Williams all played key roles in their side’s victory over arch-rivals New Zealand.

Despite losing their first opening match of the tournament to Jamaica by two goals, Australia recovered by winning all of their remaining games.

The Australian side had dominant wins over South Africa, New Zealand, Malawi and England on their journey to the title.

The grand final was set for another showdown, which saw the trans-Tasman rivalry play out once again on the big stage.

It was Australia who came out the gates firing with sharpshooters, Georgie Horjus and Lucy Austin converting from range, both playing a key role in the team’s front court.

The first quarter was competitive, but a two-pointer shot by Tippah Dwan on the buzzer put Australia ahead, ending in 12–7.

New Zealand battled their way back into the match, but once again, the paring of Ashleigh Ervin and Matilda Garrett in defence was too strong, leading to multiple stops for Australia.

Horjus proved herself in goal attack, shooting at a flawless 100 per cent all game and hitting a clutch two-pointer to give Australia a five-point lead at half-time.

A dominant second half for Australia saw them creep away from the Silver Ferns as Austin made the most of the power play period.

2023 Thunderbirds teammates Tayla Williams and Hannah Petty provided continual drive and defensive pressure through the middle as they shared centre duties in the absence of a wing attack or wing defence position.

Similarly, Australia’s constant pressure in the back court held New Zealand to just two points in the final quarter.

Premiership Thunderbird, Diamond, and now Fast5 captain, Garrett was awarded the player of the match for her defensive efforts.

Garrett thanked the crowd for pushing her side across the line.

“It was so nice to see so many Aussie supporters in the crowd, so thank you for coming across and cheering us on, it meant a lot.”

“It’s such a great atmosphere, it was such a good week with all the girls and I’m looking forward to next year already,” Garrett said.

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