The Australian Diamonds will treat the second Test of the Constellation Cup against the New Zealand Silver Ferns in Auckland on Thursday as a Grand Final.
Picture credit: Michael Bradley
The Diamonds will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to level the five-Test series before returning to Australia for the remaining three Constellation Cup Tests in Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra.
“This game is like a gold medal match for us, we have to win it and get back into the winning mentality,” Australian Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander said.
“We need to be more aggressive in the pace of the game, be proactive in setting the pace and determining the outcome by pressing our advantage.”
Alexander said her team has reviewed and analysed the 55-51 first Test defeat in Invercargill on Sunday.
“We’ve had some good honest reflection; now the athletes have to prepare themselves for this contest on Thursday night and do it,” Alexander said.
“We simply played into the Silver Ferns hands so we need to get back to our Australian style of play which is hard and fast.”
The Diamonds will have to overcome history on Thursday in a city which has proved difficult for the Australians over the years.
In the 75-year history of trans-Tasman internationals, Australia has won five of 14 Tests, including one draw, against New Zealand in Auckland and just two of six Tests at Vector Arena.
“Together the players have to find that winning recipe but it’s going to be a difficult challenge playing in Auckland, which has historically been very difficult city for us to win at,” Alexander said.
“It can be done and it has been done but we know we’ve got our backs to the wall and have to win this game.”
The second Test will be played at Auckland’s Vector Arena from 5.30pm (AEST) on Thursday 19 September and broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 1 from 5pm (AEST) and SBS 2 from 5.30pm (AEST).