After Sunday’s Constellation Cup series decider in Canberra, it could be another 10 months before the Australian Diamonds again face the New Zealand Silver Ferns in a Test match.
But Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander and captain Laura Geitz believes their Constellation Cup victory over the Silver Ferns could give them a mental edge heading into next year’s Commonwealth Games in Scotland.
Australia heads into Sunday’s fifth and final Test of the series holding an unbeatable 3-1 lead and victory at Canberra’s AIS Arena on Sunday afternoon will be the first time since 1998 that the Diamonds have won four straight Tests against their arch rivals.
Geitz said the Diamonds can take enormous confidence out of this series win.
“There is, all of a sudden, a great confidence amongst our playing group,” Geitz said.
“I suppose that for us is what we need heading into Commonwealth Games.”
The Silver Ferns have won the gold medal at the past two Commonwealth Games – 2006 and 2010 – after Australia claimed the first two in 1998 and 2002.
Geitz said still there’s still “a lot of water to go under the bridge” between now and when the Games start next year, including another season of the ANZ Championship, but she’s happy with the way the group is settling.
“It is wonderful to have this young playing group settled together for two massive years,” she said.
“We don’t just have the girls pushing from the bench. We also have depth that goes far and beyond what is in this team.
“It is a great position to be in.”
Having bounced back convincingly after dropping the opening Test, Alexander is now keen to wrap up the series on a winning note and also celebrate the historic first ever Trans-Tasman Test played in the nation’s capital.
”Obviously, we are not playing at our best just yet, but I wouldn’t want us to either,” Alexander said.
“We need to time our run into the Comm Games. But certainly the signs are all there.”
The 2013 Constellation Cup will conclude on Sunday when the Australian Diamonds take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns at Canberra’s AIS Arena. The final Test will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 3 (Channel 503) and SBS 1 from 2pm.
Despite the Canberra Test being sold out, tickets for the Australian Diamonds live site, which features a big screen, fun activities and a visit from the Diamonds post-match, are still available via Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au, on 132 849 or at any Ticketek outlet.