Diamonds retain Constellation Cup

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The Constellation Cup will remain in the hands of the Australian Diamonds for another 12 months after they claimed an unbeatable 3-0 lead over New Zealand in the 2014 series at Sydney’s Allphones Arena tonight.

The Diamonds 47-34 victory – in front of a crowd of 10,379 at the venue for next year’s Netball World Cup – was their eighth consecutive win against the Silver Ferns and 16th overall against all nations since September last year.

It’s Australia’s best overall winning streak since winning 20 Tests in a row between 2001-03.

Diamonds’ captain and goal keeper Laura Geitz was named Player of the Match as Australia also held New Zealand to its lowest score in Tests between the two countries since 2009. It’s the first time in 26 Tests that the Silver Ferns have failed to score 40 goals against Australia.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved as a team and extremely proud of the girls and the way we played tonight,” Geitz said.

_MCA5772LiDiamonds coach Lisa Alexander began the match with the same starting seven she’s used for the series and, as they’ve done in the previous two Tests, Australia got away to a strong start in the opening minutes.

Slick ball movement from their mid-courters into shooters Caitlin Bassett and Natalie Medhurst saw the Diamonds lead 14-7 at quarter-time.

Silver Ferns coach Wai Taumaunu made a change to her line-up to start the second term with Grace Rasmussen replacing Liana Leota at wing attack and New Zealand enjoyed a brief period of dominance, closing to within five goals of the Diamonds.

But a 6-0 run, inspired by some great defensive work by Geitz and Julie Corletto, saw Australia race to an 11-goal lead mid-way through the quarter and they went into half-time leading 24-15.

As in Melbourne, Tegan Caldwell came into goal attack to begin the second half for Medhurst while Jodi Brown replaced Ameliaranne Wells in the same spot for the Silver Ferns.

_MCA4918LiThe experienced combination allowed New Zealand to keep track with the Diamonds, but seven goals was the closest the Silver Ferns could get before Australia scored the last four goals of the term to hold a commanding 35-24 advantage heading into the last quarter.

Sharni Layton replaced Renae Hallinan at wing defence to begin the final term while Bailey Mes came on at goal shooter for the Silver Ferns with Medhurst returning to goal attack for the Diamonds after a quarter on the sideline.

After the Diamonds opened up a game-high 14-goal lead, the game was stopped after Silver Ferns captain Casey Kopua suffered a knee injury and was carried off the court and straight to the change rooms.

The loss of their captain seemed to briefly inspire the Silver Ferns before the Diamonds again powered home with the last four goals of the game.

The series now returns to New Zealand for the fourth and final Test at The Trusts Arena on Wednesday 15 October at 4.00pm (AEDT). The Constellation Cup will be presented to the Diamonds at the conclusion of that match. The match will be shown live on Fox Sports and SBS2.

The Diamonds will return to Australia for two Tests against England in the Real Insurance Netball Test Series at Bendigo Stadium (19 October) and the AIS Arena in Canberra (22 October).

MATCH STATISTICS

Australia

Name Match Goals
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 ET G A %
BASSETT Caitlin GS GS GS GS 32 36 89
BULLEY Rebecca
CALDWELL Tegan GA 5 6 83
CORLETTO Julie GD GD GD GD
GEITZ Laura GK GK GK GK
GREEN Kimberlee
HALLINAN Renae WD WD WD
LAYTON Sharni WD
MEDHURST Natalie GA GA GA 10 10 100
RAVAILLION Kim C C C C
ROBINSON Madi WA WA WA WA
THWAITES Caitlin
Total 44 50 88
Coach                                           ALEXANDER Lisa

 

New Zealand

Name Match Goals
Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 ET G A %
BROWN Jodi GA GA 8 12 67
de BRUIN Leana -/GK
FAKAHOKOTAU Temalisi
GRANT Katrina GD GD GD GD
HENRY Joline WD WD WD WD
KOPUA Casey GK GK GK GK/-
LANGMAN Laura C C C C
LATU Cathrine GS GS GS 14 14 100
LEOTA Liana WA
MES Bailey GS 5 9 56
RASMUSSEN Grace WA WA WA
WELLS Ameliaranne GA GA 7 8 88
Total 34 43 79
Coach                                       TAUMAUNU Waimarama