Defending the Australian way

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I want to thank all of our fans out there – both those that attended the Test matches in Adelaide and Melbourne or the many that watched on SBS or Foxtel.

Your support assists and inspires us to continue to work hard and give our very best every time we walk out on court.

We were delighted to win the Constellation Cup in my hometown of Melbourne in front of an adoring and supportive crowd.

It was also a game that befitted a decider in that both teams played with great pride on the line and an absolute commitment to winning.

Rest assured the match in Canberra is not a dead rubber and the Diamonds firmly understand that we need to raise our levels again and continue to show improvement in all that we do.

This rivalry between us and the Silver Ferns is the envy of every major Trans-Tasman sport, which is a credit to the past and present players, who eat, sleep and train to be the best in the world.

Our incredible world class athletes, both here and in New Zealand should be celebrated for the wonderful role models they are, and for the hard fought nature of every contest they undertake.

The fact that we both have different styles of play enhances the tactical battle and has assisted our sport to elude the robotic nature that grips much of modern day elite sports while continuing to provide an entertaining and exciting product for fans young and old.

Our Australian style of play is something to be cherished, it is fast and hard attacking drives in attack, and based around intense one on one defense.

There will always be conflicting opinions about the different styles of play, but I can assure all of you that the Australian Diamonds have never once taken the court with the intention of breaking the rules of the game nor have I ever instructed the players to create an unsafe environment for any opponent.

This is NOT the Australian Diamonds way and never will be!

At this very competitive international level, neither side can afford to have players standing out of play and not being involved in the next issue of the game.

The Australian players spend countless hours practising our one-on-one defence with excellent footwork and being in front to intercept or deflect the ball to a teammate.

We also understand and acknowledge the difficult task the International Umpires have when coming down under to umpire the two best teams in the world.

We all need to embrace the International Umpiring Pool and assist as best we can their ongoing development as world-class officials.

It is in everyone’s interest to develop umpiring full stop as we will not have a game without them.

They deserve our respect and acknowledgement, and the good grace to accept that everyone makes mistakes, even coaches and players sometimes!