Commonwealth Games: Australia backed for netball glory
Glasgow is all set for the Commonwealth Games and our own countdown is nearly complete ahead of the 12-day festival of sport.
And on the eve of the opening ceremony at Celtic Park we’re taking a look at some of the best bets for outright glory with the green and gold of Australia tipped for a fair share of success.
Netball – Australia to win @ 1/2
There will be doubters following the Diamonds’ first ever Test series defeat to England last year.
And the fact that they’ve been edged out by fiercest rivals New Zealand in the previous two gold medal matches may also persuade some to avoid the Australian netball team.
But make no mistake. The reigning world champions mean business and having made the Silver Ferns suffer in their most recent series the Aussies will now be going all out for Commonwealth gold.
New Zealand lost out 4-1 in those encounters with the physical nature of the pair’s battle indicative of the rivalry that exists.
Having last won Commonwealth gold back in 2002, expect Lisa Alexander’s ladies to fight hard to regain their title.
Men’s Hockey – Australia to win @ 2/5
The Aussies have topped the medals count in the last six Commonwealth Games and the country’s men’s hockey team can do their bit to add to the nation’s tally in 2014.
Winning all four gold medals since hockey was introduced to the schedule in 1998, Australia are the dominant force among the Commonwealth nations.
And that’s unlikely to change despite the presence of Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand and 3/1 second-favourites England.
The world number one-ranked outfit will feature 11 of their recent World Cup winning squad and will be too strong for the rest of the competition, despite the absence of stalwart Jamie Dwyer.
Rugby 7s – New Zealand @ 4/5
The dominant force in world rugby, the All Black’s Sevens side look as if they’ve got a fifth straight Commonwealth title sewn up.
Having defeated England 33-0 in the 2013 final of the World Cup Sevens the champions needn’t be too concerned by the threat posed by Simon Amor’s men.
Meanwhile, South Africa and Australia will also be expected to put up what could ultimately be a fight in vain with the absence of close rivals Fiji.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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