Diamonds prepare for second Test

(Getty Images)


Date: Sunday 8 October
Venue: Horncastle Arena, Christchurch
Time: 2.00pm NZDT centre pass (12.00pm AEDT TV coverage)
Watch: Nine, Netball Live App

Get ready for round two of the Constellation Cup, with the contest moving to Christchurch on Sunday, before crossing the ditch to Adelaide and Sydney next week.

The Samsung Diamonds struck first in the series, with a three-goal victory over the Silver Ferns, after leading by as much as eight-goals. They were back to their slick ways, and were patient in attack and defence, redeeming themselves after their previous 10-goal loss to the Ferns.

Be on the lookout for further improvements, coach Lisa Alexander indicating that she will be after a consistent 60 minutes of high intensity netball.

Kate Moloney has been given her first nod in the team of 12, with the potential to debut in green and gold. Moloney brings great energy and passion, and will be an asset to the team. With great versatility in the midcourt, expect to see changes during the game.

Test Two Team
Caitlin Bassett
April Brandley
Courtney Bruce
Emily Mannix
Kate Moloney
Susan Pettitt
Kim Ravaillion
Gabi Simpson
Caitlin Thwaites
Liz Watson
Jo Weston
Stephanie Wood

All eyes will be on vice-captain Gabi Simpson, who put out an MVP performance in the opening test. She recorded two intercepts, five deflections and three pick-ups, disrupting the Ferns’ attack and combining strongly with the Diamonds’ circle defenders. If she can put out a similar game on Sunday, the Ferns attackers will have a challenging day.

If the first test is anything to go by, fans should be ready for an even closer contest, the rivalry between the two netballing nations as strong as ever. With the Constellation Cup determined from a best of four games, a win will be even sweeter for the Diamonds, putting themselves in the box seat.

From the coach
“We were pleased with our overall performance in Auckland, but still had patches where we let the intensity drop. To lose an eight-goal margin that’s not something we want to repeat, it was by no means perfect.

“There are plenty of areas of our game that we will continue to work on in preparation for the second test. Although there’s a quick turnaround between games, we will face the same challenges as the Silver Ferns in this regard. We’ll ensure we take care of the details, including recovery and mobility.”

• Australia last played in Christchurch on 20 October 2015, winning 50-44.
• Australia has played 20 tests in Christchurch, with 17 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw.
• Caitlin Bassett is two goals away from scoring her 2000th international goal. She has recorded 1998 goals from 2224 attempts at 90 percent accuracy. Catherine Cox was the last shooter to achieve this, on 9 October 2011.

The Diamonds will face the Silver Ferns in the second match of the 2017 Constellation Cup at 12.00pm AEDT Sunday 8 October. Watch live on Nine and the Netball Live app. Tickets are available for the third and fourth Tests in Adelaide and Sydney. Get tickets now.