Diamonds sparkle in nailbiter to remain undefeated

AUSTRALIA has seen off a determined New Zealand outfit to record a tight two goal win and remain undefeated at the Quad Series.

After losing the first quarter for the second match in a row, the Diamonds recovered to win 59 goals to 57.

As to be expected in a clash between these two countries, both teams traded blows early and it was a tough, physical contest.

New Zealand was the first to break the opposition centre pass, but Australia countered by breaking back shortly after.

New Zealand was able to restore a lead in the back half of the quarter and maintained it for the remainder of the term.

It was not a huge lead, but the main thing for the Silver Ferns was that it was theirs.

Their attacking midcourters, particularly Kate Heffernan, were benefitting from a lack of body on pressure from the Diamonds around the New Zealand circle, and Grace Nweke in particular was really capitalising on that.

Up the other end a slightly different Diamonds shooting combination compared to Game One in Steph Wood and Cara Koenen was working well together, showing how well they know each other’s game by having played so much netball together.

The quarter time lead was four goals in favour of the Kiwis, and momentum was certainly in their favour too.

The New Zealanders started the second quarter how they left off the first, and raced to a four nil start to the quarter before the Diamonds even got one on the board.

The Australians were made to work hard for every goal, although slowly but surely they started to work their way back into the game.

Although the Diamonds could not fully level things up, their defensive pressure really lifted and as such it was New Zealand who found themselves really having to work for each goal.

Australia went on to win the quarter, but as the teams went into the main break, the Silver Ferns still led by one and it really was anyone’s game.

Despite having the lead it was New Zealand who made several changes at half time, while Australia only made the one.

Australia wasted no time levelling up proceedings, breaking the very first centre pass to finally fully bridge the gap.

It then consolidated the break with the very next centre pass to take the lead for the first time.

The play ultimately went goal for goal for much of the term, but it was the defenders who were the real stars of the show, with the likes of Courtney Bruce and Karin Burger really keeping their respective sides in the match.

One final goal on the three quarter time buzzer from Koenen saw the Diamonds head into the final change with the smallest of leads.

The Aussies extended their lead a little further in the early stages of the final quarter, and were playing with speed and precision that they were not playing with earlier in the game.

Australian maintained a roughly four goal buffer for much of the quarter, and despite a late New Zealand resurgence that saw the margin halved, it was not enough as the Diamonds held on for a solid win.

AUSTRALIA  13 | 15 | 16 | 15 (59)
NEW ZEALAND     17 | 12 | 14 | 14 (57)

Starting Sevens


GS: Cara Koenen
GA: Steph Wood
WA: Liz Watson
C: Kate Moloney
WD: Ash Brazill
GD: Courtney Bruce
GK: Sarah Klau

New Zealand

GS: Grace Nweke
GA: Ameliaranne Ekenasio
WA: Gina Crampton
C: Kate Heffernan
WD: Karin Burger
GD: Jane Watson
GK: Kelly Jury

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