Gerrard has a happy 50th for Australia
As well as the milestone, her side cruised to an 81-23 win over Samoa in their opening pool game at the world championship in Singapore, with all 12 players contributing to the impressive win.
But 30-year-old Gerrard wasn’t getting carried away by the occasion.
“I wasn’t really happy with our start,” Gerrard said of the performance against Samoa, with the islanders scoring the first goal of the match.
“We got a few things out of it in terms of combinations we’re trying to work on and our tactics that were trying to put out there.”
Gerrard, who plays for the NSW Swifts in the trans-Tasman championships, is known for her athleticism and aggression and is a big-game player for the Diamonds.
While she said she feels fortunate to reach 50 games for her country, the reality is that it could easily be 100 with a string of serious injuries, including ankle and knee surgery, leaving her sidelined throughout her career.
“It’s funny because Norma [Plummer, coach] said this morning it could have been 150,” she said.
“I’d be stoked with one or two or three, so 50 is a good milestone, although I feel a bit old.”
While Gerrard was last night hoping to impress against Northern Ireland and earn plenty of court time, Australia don’t yet have a definite starting seven.
That is a powerful weapon according to skipper Natalie von Bertouch.
“I don’t think we have a set seven at the moment,” said von Bertouch, who took over as captain after injury ruled Sharelle McMahon out of the tournament.
“I think that’s a powerful weapon to have as well, we can mix it up.
“We’ve got so much variety so we’re looking forward to continuing to have that up our sleeves.”
The Australians used four different players in the goal circle against Samoa, with Caitlin Bassett posting an impressive 100 per cent record in the second half, shooting 31 goals from 31 attempts.
While debutante Erin Bell only played a quarter, the others, veterans Catherine Cox and Natalie Medhurst also impressed.
Plummer also used four in defence, starting with Laura Geitz and Julie Corletto before switching to Susan Fuhrmann and Sharni Layton.
Von Bertouch said the pool games were about working on their fledgling combinations.
“We’re using these first couple of games to make sure we get all our flow together and we were pretty happy with the performance,” she said.
“Our whole aim at the moment is just the combinations and getting every one out on the court and make sure were more comfortable with each other.”