After a hugely successful and competitive Suncorp Super Netball season, attention now turns to the international season. The Netball Quad Series between Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa is then followed by the always fiercely fought Constellation Cup. However these games will be played with the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April 2018 in the back of all the teams’ minds.
But first the Quad Series needs to be played and won. The last Quad Series was contested earlier this year in January in South Africa and England, with the Diamonds going through undefeated. But their last game against the England Roses came down to only a single goal.
- Australia 57 defeated New Zealand 50
- Australia 62 defeated South Africa 46
- Australia 47 defeated England 46
This series is going to be completely different.
The Samsung Diamonds go into this series the number one ranked team in the world, but this squad is the most inexperienced squad of all the four teams with only 240 total Test Caps and Average Test Caps only at 20 games. The Diamonds only have two players who have played in excess of 50 games, in Australia’s newest captain Caitlin Bassett with 66 and Madi Robinson with 51. The Diamonds also have two potential debutants in Courtney Bruce and Emily Mannix who has come into the squad for Sharni Layton. Bruce however was in the Quad Series squad in January but didn’t get any court time. Six players in this squad were in the January Quad Series squad.
The New Zealand Silver Ferns are the second ranked team in the world and the second most inexperienced side. They have the youngest average age of 25, 337 Total Test Caps and an Average Test Caps of 28. The Silver Ferns have a centurion in their squad in Maria Tutaia with 107 Test Caps. She is closely followed by Katrina Grant with 94. If Grant plays all three Quad Series games and the three Tests in their series against England after the Quad Series, she will be a centurion by the time she meets the Diamonds in the Constellation Cup in October. The Silver Ferns also have a potential debutant with Whitney Souness.
The England Roses are the third ranked team in the world and go into this series as the most experienced team by a long way. Even though the Roses have named 15 in their squad and the other three teams have named only 12, they are still the most experienced. The average age is 28, have a combined Test Caps total of 825 and an Average Test Cap career of 55 games. Even if you take out three players at 55 games each to get a squad of 12, they have played 660 games which is still the most experienced team. The Roses have two players in excess of 100 Test Caps, Jade Clarke has 135 and Geva Mentor has 116 to her name. Also out of the 15 named in their squad, eight played in Suncorp Super Netball.
The South African SPAR Proteas go into this series as an experienced team with an average age of 27 and 474 total Test Caps. They average 40 Test Caps each. They have five players in excess of 50 Test Caps – Erin Burger (94), Maryka Holtzhausen (83), Precious Mthembu (82), Bongiwe Msomi (70) and Karla Mostert (56). They have two potential debutants in Danelle Lochner and Ine-Mari Venter. The SPAR Proteas have two players who played in Suncorp Super Netball, Erin Burger for the Firebirds and the Grand Final Winner for the Lightning and Most Valuable Player in Karla Mostert. Her experience will be invaluable to the 5th rank netball nation.
The Diamonds host the England Roses at Brisbane Entertainment Centre Boondall at 3.00pm AEST Saturday 26 August. The New Zealand Silver Ferns will play South Africa Spar Proteas at the same venue immediately following the Australian game. Tickets available via Ticketek or watch live on Channel 9 and the Netball Live app.
By Christian Eshman, Sports Manager Champion Data
All stats provided by Champion Data
(Official Data Provider to Netball Australia and the Samsung Diamonds)