Two down, but two important Tests still to go

221015-FERNS-AUS-004The Diamonds have returned home with a two-Test lead over the Silver Ferns in the Constellation Cup but there’s still plenty of hard work to do with two Tests left in this series.

The first two Tests in Christchurch and Auckland were intense, hard-fought encounters that we were fortunate to do the little things a bit better at the crucial stages to get the wins.

But New Zealand has shown they are a dangerous opponent and one that we will continue to respect when we step out on court in Melbourne on Sunday and Perth next Friday.

At different stages in the first two games the Silver Ferns were able to gain control and put our team under pressure where we made mistakes either with our decision-making or passes.

We know we must address those areas at training over the next week to deny New Zealand a look in at levelling the series.

It was pleasing to see Gabi Simpson and Gretel Tippett make their Test debuts on the New Zealand leg of the series. Both showed plenty of promise and I’m excited to see how they develop next year.

221015-FERNS-AUS-011We’ll make some changes to our squad for these next two Tests with Jo Weston and Ashleigh Brazill coming in.

Our captain Laura Geitz is taking a well-deserved break to rest a niggling knee injury along with Gabi.

On Wednesday night I was thrilled to learn the news that national selector Anne Sargeant had been elevated to Legend status in the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.

It was a proud moment for Anne and her family to be recognised alongside the greats of Australian sport in front of her peers. I’m told that a few tears may have been shed by not just Anne, but her husband Warwick as well!

I don’t know of anyone else who’s done more for the sport in the last few decades than Annie. She was a formidable opponent at national level when I represented Victoria and dominated the international stage for many years.

She’s left a giant legacy on our game and the sport is far better placed now because of the publicity it received from people like Anne.

Like many Australians, I will be up and cheering the Wallabies in the early hours of Monday morning as they take on Argentina in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup.

The Diamonds have been inspired by what the team has achieved over their campaign and we are all hoping they can advance to the final and emulate what ourselves and the Australian cricket team did this year – becoming world champions.

So to coach Michael Cheika, captain Stephen Moore and the rest of the Wallabies team – good luck and I know you will do Australia proud.

Sunday’s game will be our first match in Australia since the final of the Netball World Cup in August and the team is excited to hear that our Tests in Melbourne and Perth will be played in front of near capacity crowds.

We’ll break a record at Perth Arena and it just goes to show that Australia has the best netball fans in the world.

So, whether you’re at the game or watching us live on ONE HD or FOX SPORTS – or the Netball Live app – thanks for your support, wear your colors, cheer loud and we’ll do our best to do you all proud.