England happen to be looking forward to “doing the job against Australia” in the netball semifinals.


Geva Mentor thought she’d seen it all in her two-decade international netball career, but admits the best is yet to come.

Mentor made her Roses debut at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, won bronzes in Melbourne and Delhi and was part of the famous Gold Coast gold medal winning team in 2018.

However, the 37-year-old, who will earn her 159th cap in Saturday’s semi-final, claims nothing would top a win this weekend in Birmingham.

Mentor played a starring role as England beat world champions New Zealand by ten points in their last group game to secure a Final Four clash with world number ones Australia, who were stunned by Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls.

She lined up with Silver Ferns star scorer Grace Nweke, 17 years her junior, and pocketed her, a defensive feat, according to adoring coach Jess Thirlby.

“Age is just a number but for me it’s nice to be able to go out and maybe some of my experience will help,” Mentor said.

“How bloody exciting if we can do the job in Australia on Saturday and Jamaica can beat New Zealand that would be a final we’ve never seen before, that’s so refreshing and exciting for netball.”

Before their win on the Gold Coast, England’s Roses and Jamaica had traditionally been battling for the bronze medal at those games, but perhaps there’s a new Netballworld order disrupting that Anzac spirit.

Helen Housby’s dramatic last breath of glory on the Gold Coast meant netball was always one of the hottest tickets at those games.

And Australia have made no secret of their desire to avenge their dramatic home defeat. So don’t expect a friendly at the friendlies.

No team has ever lost a game in the group stage and won gold, while England have lost, drawn and won their last three games against 11-time world champions Diamonds.

“They will go away and do their homework, I know how much they will be watching the game and I expect them to lick their wounds,” Mentor added.

“They’re going to think they know how to break us and it’s going to be a really tough competition out there.

“It’s nice to know who your enemy will be. We were in and out of practice while their game against Jamaica was on,

“I didn’t care who would get the upper hand. I just think it’s exciting and I think we’ve set the tone and it opens up the possibility of a different final on Sunday.

“The audience was phenomenal, especially when we were getting tips and sales. Luckily I’m not an attacker who has to end it on the other end because I think we’d get the wobbles otherwise.

“We’re going to really use our home field advantage and hopefully that will get us over the line.”

National Lottery players raise more than £30m a week for good causes, including vital funds for the sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how amazing your numbers are and get involved with the hashtag: #TNLAthletes. England happen to be looking forward to “doing the job against Australia” in the netball semifinals.

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