The Australian Diamonds have secured the Constellation Cup trophy for the sixth time, rounding out the series 3-1 with a strong performance in Invercargill.
Kim Ravaillion was named match MVP after a hard-fought contest with the Silver Ferns and says the group are over the moon to be taking the trophy back on home soil.
“We are very, very happy at the moment,” Ravaillion said.
“It was such a tough game out there tonight. Both teams brought their best and there’s nothing better than getting over the line and winning the last game of the Series.”
Last year, the Diamonds and Ferns drew the Series two-all and despite losing the last Test in Perth, the Diamonds retained the trophy based on goal difference.
Ravaillion says she is relieved the group were able to get the win in the final Test, especially for captain Clare McMeniman who played her last game of international netball.
“Last series we felt shattered with a loss (in the last game) and it was a big loss,” Ravaillion explained.
“To come out in front in this last game, there’s nothing better than winning. The girls are really happy and we can’t wait to send Clare off in style.”
Two of the four games in the 2016 Series were decided by four goals or less, Ravaillion acknowledging the historic rivalry with the Silver Ferns.
“It’s the toughest contest you can play in a netball game,” Ravaillion said. “New Zealand are incredibly strong and improving game by game.”
“They’re always testing us in our ability and we have to really do our analysis every game. It’s a hard game, but this is why we play, we love the hard games.”
The Constellation Cup is the last event on the international calendar for the Diamonds, who have played in a tour of England, a Netball Quad Series and the Constellation Cup in 2016.
The Diamonds will next meet the Silver Ferns in the Netball Quad Series, held in England and South Africa in early 2017.
Photography: Michael Bradley