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Top teams confident Diamonds can be beaten

  • Top teams confident Diamonds can be beaten

The world's upper echelon of netball has spoken - Australia can be defeated at the world titles.

The Diamonds' $1.25 odds to claim a Netball World Cup hat-trick in Sydney are so preposterously low it's hardly worth having a punt.

But all the talk of Aussie world domination has only further galvanised world No.2 team New Zealand, third-ranked England and fourth-ranked Jamaica to stage an upset.

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They all admit the prospect of stopping the girls in green and gold from extending their 19-match international winning run will be a stiff challenge, but one well within the realms of possibility.

Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua for one says her new-look line-up are itching to get on court this Sunday for another shot at breaking New Zealand's nine-game and nearly two-year losing streak against their arch-rivals.

Will they target any specific players?

"All of them," Kopua said frankly.

"We can't just take out one, we need to take out all 12.

"It's definitely going to be hard work, but that's what we're here for and that's what we love to do."

England skipper Geva Mentor has cultivated a more individualised approach, as her experienced team contend with the new pressure of being perceived as a larger threat than the less-fancied Kiwis.

"For us it's just about making sure we don't let them be as strong as a unit," the star defender said.

"Making sure we can break them down individually, and we've definitely got the players within our playing group to isolate players on court.

"If we can do that then we can start to break it down and slowly get on top."

Jamaica captain Nicole Aiken-Pinnock is backing her Sunshine Girls' physical prowess, flair and an increase in on-court discipline thanks to some heavy mentoring from technical director and former Diamonds coach Jill McinTosh.

"There are people who believe Jamaica can create an upset and there are people who don't," said the goal keeper.

"But my teammates and I believe we're more than capable of being champions of this World Cup.

"The Cup is there for anybody, it just depends who turns up to play that's going to walk away with that trophy."

Zambia, Sri Lanka, Samoa, Uganda and Singapore all have the highest odds to win the World Cup at $501.

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