Kiwis claim final match as Cup comes to a close

NEW Zealand may have won the fourth Constellation Cup test match against Australia 53 goals to 50, but ultimately the Australians were the ultimate winners as they won the Constellation Cup on goal difference.

Coming into the match the Silver Ferns needed a 17-goal win to take the series on goal difference but could only manage a three goal one.

The Silver Ferns fell behind early thanks to some strong intercept work from the Diamonds, who were the first to break centre pass and take an early lead.

After some back and forth of momentum swings in the second and third quarters, it was the final quarter where things really opened up for the home side.

The Silver Ferns were finally able to get some regular runs of three or four goals together, and it was not long before the lead was theirs. They ultimately won the quarter 15-9 to take the three-goal win.

New Zealand can thank many of its usual suspects for ultimately securing the win.

Grace Nweke (43 goals from 45 attempts, one rebound) was again an ever present and reliable figure in attack, while Mila Reuelu-Buchanan (18 feeds, 14 assists, one gain, one deflection) and Maddy Gordon (24 feeds, 21 assists, two gains, one intercept, one deflection) were solid in midcourt. Meanwhile in defence Kelly Jury again starred, finishing with seven gains, five deflections and three intercepts.

Meanwhile for the Diamonds Liz Watson truly had a captain’s game. Finishing with 48 feeds, 28 assists and two deflections, she truly did lead from the front.

Sophie Garbin also had a solid game under the net, only missing three shots all afternoon.

The New Zealanders may get a break now that this series is over, but there is no rest for the victorious Australians. They have to fly home and get ready for a test series against South Africa, which gets underway in Cairns tomorrow night.

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