Diamonds to focus on finishes

2016 Constellation Cup Australian Diamonds v New Zealand Silver Ferns
Midcourter Gabi Simpson said the Diamonds expected a physical encounter against the Silver Ferns in Test two of the Constellation Cup.

The Diamonds were unsuccessful in maintaining a perfect record for the year, falling to the Silver Ferns in Launceston 53-51.

“We expect a physical encounter every time (we play New Zealand),” Simpson said.

“In that first game we took New Zealand unaware and they were always going to come out strong and play a dominant role this game.

“That’s what we expected and that’s what we got.”

The Constellation Cup continues in Auckland on Saturday with the third Test, Simpson saying the team will be focusing on their finishes for the remainder of the series.

“We will definitely look back after the end of that second quarter, how we dropped off a bit there and seeing what we can do defensively to combat that,” Simpson said.

“We will also be looking at their zone, making sure our attackers penetrate our way through.”

Despite the loss, Simpson said there are positives the team can take from the game heading into Auckland.

“Our ability to fight back was fantastic,” Simpson said.

“Particularly at the start of that quarter we put a lot of defensive pressure on them and turned quite a bit of ball over when we were under pressure.”

With five changes made by coach Lisa Alexander, Simpson said the group are “always ready” to go on court at any time, whether that’s at the start or part-way through the game.

“Everyone knows their role, what to do when they step on the court and what flare they can also bring,” Simpson said.

“It’s just being able to back that and being warm and ready to go. We’ve got the depth to be able to do that.”

The Diamonds will face the Silver Ferns in the third Test of the Constellation Cup in Auckland on Saturday October 15. Tune in on Fox Sports Australia and the Netball Live App.