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England v Australia: Lionesses set to roar as they attempt to reach first ever World Cup final | World News

Hot on the heels of a blockbuster Ashes series, England fans are in for another high stakes sporting clash with Australia as the Lionesses take on the Matildas in the Women’s World Cup semi-final.

The old rivalry has already been ignited in the build up to the match at Sydney’s Stadium Australia, with tickets allocated to England being snapped up by Aussie fans and a helicopter funded by the Australian Daily Telegraph spying on an England training session.

The newspaper’s stunt culminated in a piece with the title “11 Poms against a nation: Welcome to the Jungle, Lionesses”.

According to the article, manager Sarina Wiegman and co were in for a “rude shock” if they thought they could quietly prepare for the game.

England booked their place in the semi-finals alongside the host nation over the weekend following a 2-1 win against Colombia.

Australia, meanwhile, saw off France in a penalty shootout after the match remained goalless after extra time.

England coach Sarina Wiegman and the team
England coach Sarina Wiegman and the team

Read more: Five things to know ahead of England’s clash with Australia

The Lionesses will be without Lauren James who is completing her two-match ban for stamping on Michelle Alozie during the round of 16 match against Nigeria.

But captain Millie Bright says her team will “thrive” under the pressure of playing against the hosts.

“That is what we expect now – for us to thrive in those moments,” she said.

“It is a proud moment for the women’s game back home when they see what an atmosphere there is.

“It’s about turning up, showing up, performing and enjoying the game.

“It is important to adapt to the game whatever they give to us. We have faced many different challenges and we have adapted really well.”

England head coach Sarina Wiegman and goalkeeper Mary Earps (left) during the press conference at Stadium Australia, Sydney. Picture date: Friday August 11, 2023.
England head coach Sarina Wiegman

Wiegman has also said she expects the match to be “very tight and very competitive”.

However, Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has said that while England may be favourites on paper, they don’t have the “support” his players do.

He said: “If you look at all that and you look at resources, financially, obviously they are massive favourites going into this game.

“But the one thing that we have that they don’t have is the support and belief from the fans.”

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Who are the Lionesses?

Read more on Sky News:
Family split by England-Australia loyalties
Lionesses star apologises to opponent for stamp

Rishi Sunak has sent a good luck message to the team ahead of the tie – telling The Sun newspaper the “nation’s hopes of beating the Aussies now rest on our Lionesses”.

His comments follow the Ashes series which ended in a 2-2 draw after five matches replete with epic performances, controversial dismissals and numerous rain delays.

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Can the Lionesses go all the way?

As well as the words exchanged between supporters of both sides, the FA said it was “disappointed” to hear reports of tickets specifically allocated to England fans being bought by Australians.

The additional 1,970 tickets were released at the weekend, and about 8,000 England fans were expected to be in attendance at the Australia Stadium.

The FA said it was working with FIFA to review its ticketing processes going forwards.

A unique supporter code was reportedly leaked on social media – with a number of Australian fans claiming to have purchased tickets.

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Lionesses beat Colombia 2-1.

Back in England, fans have put out flags and bunting ahead of the fixture and pubs and fan parks have prepared to welcome supporters for the 11am UK kick-off time.

According to Sky Bet at the time of writing, England were 5/4 to win in normal time, compared to 5/2 for Australia.

England lose to Australia in their first Netball World Cup final | UK News

England have finished runners-up to Australia in the Netball World Cup after reaching the final for the first time ever.

The Roses trailed the 12-time champions at half-time on Sunday and despite a spirited effort in the second half were unable to triumph in the final in Cape Town, which finished 61-45.

Coming into the event, England were seen as underdogs among the big four nations – Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica being the other countries – but a strong performance in the tournament saw them secure a chance to fight for the trophy.

Manager Jess Thirlby’s team put up a valiant effort, but Australia were sharper, quicker, and more efficient across all departments.

Fans in the stands during the 2023 Netball World Cup final at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town. Picture date: Sunday August 6, 2023.

Only Australia and New Zealand have won the World Cup in its modern form, so an England victory in South Africa would have been one for the history books.

Nonetheless, the England team that reached the final defied expectations, producing some superb comebacks throughout the tournament to keep their World Cup dream alive.

England even beat Australia 56-55 in a close contest earlier in the tournament, but the Diamonds won the crucial match on the biggest stage.

More on Netball World Cup

England manager Ms Thirlby said: “We’re really grateful for the silver medal, and over time it’ll sink in, but right now, we’re obviously gutted with a losing margin like that in our first final.

“It’s a tough lesson and over the next few days it’ll sink in, for now though, I think it’s ok for us to feel a little disappointed.

“It was always going to be a tough ask, and you just cant throw the ball away like we did.

“I just want to say I’m incredibly proud, despite the final result, and we had to battle to be there, but we just fell short today”.

Ashes: ‘Emotions were running high’ – Lord’s bosses apologise as fans clash with Australia players after controversial Bairstow stumping | UK News

Lord’s bosses have apologised after England cricket fans clashed with Australia players during the second Ashes Test.

As Australia players walked through the Long Room of the stadium during lunch, they appeared to exchange heated words with several Lord’s members.

Australia’s Usman Khawaja and David Warner both stopped to hit back at criticism the team were receiving, and were separated from the crowd by match officials.

The incident followed the controversial stumping of England’s Jonny Bairstow, which was met with chants of “same old Aussies, always cheating” by the home crowd.

Australia's David Warner
Australia’s David Warner exchanges words with an England fan

Australia's Usman Khawaja was pulled back by a match official
Australia’s Usman Khawaja was pulled back by a match official

Bairstow had ducked under a bouncing delivery which made its way through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey, before wandering out of his crease as he thought the ball was dead.

Carey threw the ball at the stumps and the run out was given following a check – prompting claims of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Bairstow’s unusual dismissal was met with fury by England’s players, with Stuart Broad taunting Carey and telling him: “That’s all you’ll ever be remembered for”.

Cricket Australia called on Lord’s bosses to investigate the confrontation in the Long Room, alleging that Aussie players had been verbally abused with some “physically contacted”.

In response, Marylebone Cricket Club said “emotions were running high” and “words were unfortunately exchanged” by a small number of members.

A spokesperson said: “We have unreservedly apologised to the Australian team and will deal with any member who has not maintained the standard we expect through our disciplinary processes.

“It was not necessary to eject anyone from the ground and I am pleased to say that there was no repeat of this as the players resumed the field for this afternoon’s session.”

Former England player Eoin Morgan said: “I’ve never seen scenes like that. Particularly in the Long Room, never mind all the way around the ground.

“There is a huge sense of frustration but I can understand why, it was complete naivety around what has happened with Jonny Bairstow’s dismissal.”

Despite a spirited England comeback, Australia eventually won the second Test by 43 runs.

An inspired Ben Stokes hit 155 to move England 70 runs away from victory, but his dismissal effectively ended hopes of an incredible comeback.

Australia now have a 2-0 lead in the series and will retain the Ashes should they win at Headingley next week.