Captain Geitz gets second chance in Invercargill

www.mbphoto.co.nzAustralian Diamonds captain Laura Geitz will get a second chance to celebrate a personal milestone in Invercargill when the 2014 Constellation Cup begins in New Zealand on Thursday.

Twelve months after she lost her first Test as Australian captain in Invercargill, the 27-year-old Queenslander will get an opportunity to make amends in what’s set to be her 50th international appearance for the Diamonds.

Geitz, who was substituted at half-time in her first Test as captain last year, believes a victory in New Zealand’s south will provide a huge boost of confidence for the remainder of the Constellation Cup against the Silver Ferns.

The Diamonds have won just one of three previous Test matches against New Zealand in Invercargill – a city described by Geitz as the “hardest place to play against the Silver Ferns”.

A 14th straight international win and sixth consecutive victory over the Silver Ferns would give the Diamonds the advantage heading home with the second and third Tests in Melbourne and Sydney before the series concludes in Auckland.

“I know personally I want to make amends (for my first Test as captain) but the team is very keen to get that win down here in Invercargill,” Geitz said.

“If you can get a win down here then you gain a lot of confidence as a team moving forward, this is the hardest place to play against New Zealand and we know from experience that’s definitely the case.

“Momentum is a wonderful thing but it hasn’t come without a lot of hard work and there’s no chance that we’re letting any complacency sneak into the camp.”

www.mbphoto.co.nzThe Silver Ferns will feature a familiar face for Geitz with former Queensland Firebirds teammate Ameliaranne Well set to make her international debut for New Zealand during the Constellation Cup.

The Australian-born Wells moved across the Tasman during the off-season after accepting an offer to join Wellington’s Central Pulse in the ANZ Championship.

“I think it’s fantastic for Ameliaranne, she’s an incredible talent and an incredible girl so I’m just stoked that she’s been given an opportunity to play, I have no doubt that she will not disappoint,” Geitz said.

“I liken her to Maria (Tutaia), they play a very similar style and I think the more opportunities that she’s given, the more that she’ll step up to the challenge.

“Obviously we’ve had a fair bit of time training against each other at the Firebirds and she has a very different style of play to the goal attacks that we’re used to in Australia.

“She’s not really quick but her movement and elusiveness works so well for her so she’s particularly hard to defend.”

The 2014 Constellation Cup begins on Thursday when the Silver Ferns host the Australian Diamonds at ILT Stadium Southlands, Invercargill, at 4.30pm (AEST). Catch the 2014 Constellation Cup live on FOX SPORTS, SBS 2 and ABC Grandstand.