The Australian Diamonds have finished the Constellation
Cup series with their first victory of 2012, defeating the New Zealand Silver
Ferns 59-53 at CBS Canterbury Arena in Christchurch on Sunday.
With the Constellation Cup already in the hands of the Silver Ferns courtesy of
victories in Melbourne and Auckland, the Diamonds put together their best
performance of the series to record their largest score at the conclusion of
regular time against New Zealand since 2007.
The Diamonds started the third Test with just one change from the team that
nearly formulated a remarkable comeback in game two with Bianca Chatfield
replacing the departed Julie Corletto at goal defence.
With the captain Natalie von Bertouch and vice-captain Catherine Cox on the
bench, the Australians opted for youthful exuberance in a bid to overcome the
slow starts with no player having more than 50 international caps in the
The Silver Ferns were quickest out of the blocks, scoring five consecutive
goals to race out to a 7-4 lead early in the first quarter before the hanging
onto a 20-15 advantage at quarter-time.
The second quarter belonged to the Diamonds as they overturned a five goal
quarter-time deficit into a four goal half-time lead, which included a run of
eight goals to two late in the half courtesy of intercepts from Kim Green,
Renae Hallinan and Laura Geitz.
After scoring 20 goals in the first quarter, Diamonds picked up their defence
around the circle edge to shut down the Silver Ferns feed into van Dyk and
Brown, limiting the shooters to just eight goals for the second quarter.
Leading 32-28 at half-time, the Australians maintained their momentum in the
third quarter to extend their half-time margin to twelve goals as goal attack
Natalie Medhurst carved up the circle and was flawless with ball in hand while
WAIS athlete Caitlin Bassett caused headaches under the post.
The Silver Ferns introduced Catherine Latu at goal shooter which paid dividends
as the hosts outscored the Diamonds 18-12 in the fourth quarter to reduce a
12-goal three-quarter time margin however it was too little too late as the
Australians hung on to win.
- Netball Australia