Confident Diamonds breathe life into Cup series

THE Aussie Diamonds have breathed some life into the 2022 Constellation Cup series, downing the New Zealand Silver Ferns by 15 goals.

A confident Diamonds side did not have things all their own way, but they weathered everything the Kiwis threw at them and ensured that the final game of the series would not be a dead rubber.

AUSTRALIA          15 | 16 | 15 | 16 (62)
NEW ZEALAND   11 | 11 | 16 | 9 (47)

With a full John Cain Arena producing an electric atmosphere, a few early Diamond intercepts and a goal off the first NZ centre pass really got the crowd going.

The Diamonds consolidated their early break with the next centre pass and things were looking positive for the home side.

Some timely defensive work saw the Diamonds’ lead continue to grow, and it blew out to four goals before the Silver Ferns were able to get their second on the board.

The Silver Ferns brought the margin back slightly in the quarter, but were still down by four come quarter time.

This saw the Kiwis make one change at the break, bringing on Kimiora Poi for Maddy Gordon at wing attack.

The big hits kept coming in the second period with many players taking tumbles.

Another thing which kept coming in the second term was the growth in the Diamonds’ lead, which ballooned out to as much as 10 goals at one stage.

New Zealand made several personnel changes during the quarter, but it did not make much of a difference as they could not reel in the Diamond lead.

As the quarter progressed, the Diamonds just seemed to keep growing and growing in confidence, and the scoreboard was showing it.

At half time the margin was out to nine goals.

Neither side made a change at the main break, and things started relatively evenly in the second half.

Plenty of calls went against the Diamonds, but they were still able to maintain their lead.

As the quarter progressed though, New Zealand’s confidence started to grow and their deficit started to shrink.

This lead the Aussies to finally make a personnel change, bringing on the lively Amy Parmenter in the place of Jamie-Lee Price.

Although the New Zealanders got the margin back down to as low as four and ultimately won the quarter, the Diamonds weathered the storm well and went into the final change with an eight-goal advantage.

Things felt even at times in the final term, but scoreboard wise it told a very different story.

The Diamond lead just kept growing and growing, and as the final five minutes of the quarter drew closer, things were looking good for a Diamond win.

The home side ultimately ran away with the match, but they certainly did not have it all their own way all night but will take the confidence from this match into game four on the Gold Coast.

For the Aussies, captain Liz Watson lead the way, finishing with a whopping 57 feeds and 28 goal assists.

Courtney Bruce also had a great game in defence, as did Kate Moloney in the middle.

Meanwhile for the New Zealanders, Grace Nweke had another great game, missing only one shot for the night, but unfortunately for the visitors none of her fellow shooters could match her for volume.

Whitney Souness was also busy through midcourt for the Silver Ferns.

Meanwhile in the night’s earlier clash, the Aussie men got the night off to a winning start for the fans of the green and gold, defeating New Zealand 61 to 57 to win their series.

Jerome Gillbrand was very accurate for the Aussies under the net, missing only the one shot, while Brodie Roberts and Riley Richardson were busy getting ball down there.

Meanwhile for the Kiwis, Junior Levi was hard to stop at times, as Dan Rich had a great game in defence along with Matt Wetere through the middle.

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