Diamonds aim to finish on a high

NETBALL AUSTRALIA: 2016 Constellation Cup: Australian Netball Diamonds v Silver Ferns - Game 1 - Qudos Bank Arena, NSW Australia. Photo: Narelle Spangher

Australian Diamonds midcourter Gabi Simpson says the team will be looking to finish the Constellation Cup on a high note for captain Clare McMeniman, who will play her last game on Thursday night.

Invercargill will host the final game of the 2016 series, with the Diamonds taking a 2-1 series lead over their rivals the Silver Ferns.

Coming off a match MVP and a birthday, Simpson says the Diamonds’ focus will be on backing up from their performance in Auckland.

“We really want to finish on a great note, particularly when we have Clare McMeniman retiring so we really want send her out on a high,” Simpson said.  

“At the moment we are learning about backing up and making sure that we are ready for every game. That is something we learnt from that second game, you can’t be off your game even slightly.”

Last year’s Constellation Cup was decided by goal difference for the first time in the trophy’s history, and Simpson says that disappointment is a motivator for the final Test.

“After last year’s Constellation Cup, ending up with that deep feeling in your stomach that we didn’t finish off how we wanted to, we have a bit more fire in our belly now,” explained Simpson.

Defender Jo Weston said the team will be looking for a full four-quarter consistent performance.

“Our win in Auckland was a pretty good indication of where we want to finish the series,” Weston said.

“Going forward for Thursday we’re just working on having some consistency across the whole game and really bringing that intensity back out on court.”

Weston has praised how united the team of 12 are, and how everyone knows their role on game day, even if they do not take to court.

“We’re very united as a group of 12, you never really know when anything is going to happen out on court so we always want to be ready to go,” Weston said.

“It’s about having that support and that comradery, is what makes us a really strong team and that’s something that we really strive towards.”

The final test of the Constellation Cup will be shown live on Fox Sports Australia and the Netball Live App. More details can be found here.

Photography: Narelle Spangher