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Australia has booked their place in the Fast5 World Series Grand Final, after a convincing win over South Africa.

The hosts once again led from the back, with Courtney Bruce not giving the South African shooters an inch of space to hold them to 14 points.

The Australians were cleaner with the ball and made the South Africans pay when they turned it over in defence, running out 31-14 victors in their final match of the round robin stage.

Australia jumped out to a 10-3 advantage in the first quarter, inspired by some strong shooting from Caitlin Thwaites and Gretel Tippett, including a 3 point supershot from Thwaites.

South Africa matched the Australian’s energy in the second quarter, but Susan Pettit stole the show, shooting 4 goals from the two point line to increase the Australian lead by two points, going into the half time break with Australia leading 18-9.

Australia used their power play in the third quarter to extend their lead to 16 points. Heading into South Africa’s power play in the fourth quarter, the Australians were relying on a strong defence to keep the South Africans at bay.

Mixing it up in the final quarter, Gretel Tippett was substituted into defence, assisting to hold South Africa to one goal during their power play period. The move limited the South African’s options off their centre pass, a tactical ploy by Australian coach Jane Searle.

“She’s such a great defender, a great athlete and we had a minor injury to Courtney Bruce before the tournament started so we gave her a run then and she did so well so I think it really works for us too as there is limited options on the centre pass, and having Gretel Tippet back there one on one it can be anyone’s ball.  And we got to rest some of our defenders too,” said Searle.

Erin Bell’s long three point supershot furthered Australia’s lead in the final term, running out 17 point victors.

Accurate shooting from Australia’s frontline was a just reward for the staunch defensive display, giving Australia it’s fifth win from five games heading into the playoffs.