The Samsung Australian Diamonds Head Coach Lisa Alexander has sung the praises of her team after a dominant win over the New Zealand Silver Ferns in Brisbane on Sunday, in the first match of the 2018 Constellation Cup.
The Samsung Diamonds claimed the victory 57 to 42 to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match test series.
Speaking after the game, Alexander was impressed with the way her entire team played their respective roles to secure the win, putting them in good stead for the remaining Constellation Cup showdowns.
“I think today we took another step ahead from our win at the Quad Series – there was real confidence out there – we knew what our plan was going to be, and they executed pretty well for a great majority of the game so that’s pleasing,” she said.
The game saw all 12 Diamonds team members take to the court, something that Alexander mentioned is extremely satisfying to any coach, from juniors right through to the highest international level.
“It’s always enjoyable to get everyone out on court and still have a pretty substantial win,” she said.
“The coach’s dream is always to get the 12 players out on court and have a win so that’s what I’m most pleased about.”
The first quarter of the match was unprecedented in its intensity and physicality with Alexander stating she’d “never really seen anything quite like it”, but the Diamonds held strong and opened up the court in the second quarter.
“It was just one of those games where no one could find much space, from both teams,” Alexander said.
“You really have to applaud both teams in the way they went about it their defence in that first quarter – the contests that were happening all over the court were quite fascinating.”
Samsung Player of the Match Liz Watson says the belief and connection within the team is what is helping the Diamonds shine bright in the tough moments of their recent matches.
“We have confidence and belief in the group that if we grind it out, we’ll get that result in the end,” she said.
“As much as you’d love to win every quarter, sometimes that’s not how it works, but we know in our heads and through the reassurance from Lisa and the coaches that we’ve got what it takes to grind it out – it’s going to be tough, it’s going to be physical but we believe we’re fit enough and that we’ve got the structures to get there and if we stick to that then we’ll get the win in the end.”
The Samsung Diamonds will meet the New Zealand Silver Ferns again on Wednesday evening in Townsville for the second match of the Constellation Cup series.
Limited tickets for this match are available HERE and the game can be viewed live on the Netball Live app and on 9GEM at 7.30PM (ADST) and 6.30PM (AEST).
In relation to margin: “I think when we’re playing at our best it can be. You just can’t ever underestimate what the Silver Ferns will bring to an international contest, so you don’t want to take things for granted either.”
“We were always planning to get most our team out there today, because they are performing really well at training and we need to test out these combinations too for the future.”
“I know I have to bring that physicality and that strength in the circle every time because it is what it is and the contesting is now allowed, so there were some good tussles and I know it’s really important for me to get my arms out and up and take that ball strong with two hands and rip it in otherwise if it’s left up there it’s anyone’s ball.”
“When things started to open up, it was because of our connections and the tact bringing the ball down with that speed. In the one-on-one situation, I’m always really happy to get on the body and take that strong ball – we created those situations a few times because of the work we did outside of the circle.
“My goals before a game aren’t just about shooting percentages and volumes now, it’s about deflections and pick-ups and goal assists and it’s definitely something that hasn’t been around the last couple of years and I’m really enjoying pushing myself and learning some more on how I can help the team defensively.”