The Samsung Australian Diamonds are ready to take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns in what is set to be a hard-fought Constellation Cup series kicking off tomorrow at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
Less than two weeks ago, Australia held strong over the Silver Ferns when the two teams faced off in the final match of the 2018 Quad Series and the Diamonds leaders are determined that they will continue this pattern throughout the upcoming series.
Vice-captain Gabi Simpson today spoke of the significance of the Diamonds claiming the first victory of the Constellation Cup series and how that win will impact the entire tournament.
“The first game is extremely important, it’s where both teams want to stamp their authority on the competition and really set the standard of where it’s going,” she said.
“The mental side is also another big thing, you want a powerful start so that you can start playing the mental games from there – we consider this first game to be very important.”
Simpson also spoke of the confidence the Samsung Diamonds have in each other to hold strong in tights moments as they did during the Quad Series tournament.
“When teams were coming back as us, we were able to hold our own and then push out the lead a little bit again,” she said.
“We’re just getting used to our new combinations, but it’s so exciting to see glimpses of how great it can be when it works,” she said.
Samsung Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett mirrored these comments when providing an insight into what her team is expecting from the Silver Ferns over the next two weeks.
“We’re expecting them (New Zealand) to build on their performance of the last game – we saw some really good glimpses of play for them which we obviously have to look at shutting down,” she said.
“But from us it’s exactly the same, we saw some amazing glimpses of play and we want to continue building on that.
“We’ve started to see a bit of Noeline’s influence in the Kiwi style of play so no doubt they will have done their homework so the challenge for us will be to keep mixing it up and to not become too predictable.”
Bassett also spoke of the long-standing netballing rivalry between the Aussies and New Zealand and how that will drive the competition over the coming four matches.
“Whenever we play against the Kiwis, there’s that little bit extra something – the rivalry we’ve had and the games that we’ve had with them over the last decade have just been ridiculously tight so there is that extra incentive to win against the Kiwis and I think that’s what always makes it such a good game.”
The Samsung Diamonds will take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns tomorrow Sunday 7 October at 12pm (AEST) and 1pm (ADST).
Tickets can still be purchased at ticketek.com.au and the match will be broadcast live on Channel 9 and on the Netball Live app.