The Australian Diamonds are determined to end their 2015 international campaign on a high when they face New Zealand in the fourth and final Test of the Constellation Cup series at Perth Arena on Friday night.
A victory over the Silver Ferns in Perth will give Australia a 3-1 series triumph and see the Diamonds claim the Constellation Cup for the fifth time in six years.
The Diamonds received a boost on the eve of the decider with the experienced trio of captain Laura Geitz, vice-captain Renae Ingles and shooter Caitlin Bassett named in the team for the fourth Test.
Bassett and Ingles passed fitness tests on Thursday evening and Geitz has returned to the group after sitting out the third Test in Melbourne last Sunday, which New Zealand won by three goals after staging a second half comeback.
That was Australia’s first Constellation Cup defeat since losing the opening game of the 2013 series at Invercargill and Geitz is expecting a fired up response from her teammates to stop the Silver Ferns levelling the series.
“Not much has to be said to the girls really after a loss,” Geitz said on Thursday.
“You can just tell by the mood, the disappointment in the group initially. We just have to get back to playing our style and wanting that win more than the Kiwis; that wasn’t there in Melbourne. We had the win and we let them back in and we didn’t fight to come back and that’s disappointing in itself.
“That’s not what we stand for as a team and there definitely won’t be any of that come Friday night.
“The girls trained particularly well on Wednesday night – they expect the utmost of each other and themselves and that will reflect in the game.”
Geitz admitted she found it tough watching last Sunday’s game while on holiday in New Zealand’s South Island.
“I said to Lisa that I was only a phone call away if needed and I’m excited about being on court with the girls,” Geitz said.
“It’s not a hard decision on my behalf to be out there playing on Friday night in front of a sold out Perth crowd.”
Alexander will lead Australia for the 50th time, joining Jill McIntosh (94 Tests), Norma Plummer (83), Joyce Brown (66) and Wilma Shakespear (53) in that illustrious group.
The Silver Ferns will be working to level the series in what will be Wai Taumaunu’s last Test as coach in the same city she made her international debut in the role back in 2011.
If the series finishes two-all then the winner will be determined by goal percentage.
The Australian Diamonds take on New Zealand in the fourth and deciding Test of the 2015 Constellation Cup at Perth Arena on Friday from 6.30pm, local time.
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