New Zealand Take Quad Series Title

Netball | Published: Thu 7 September 2017

The New Zealand Silver Ferns proved too strong in the final match of the 2017 Netball Quad Series defeating the Australian Diamonds 57 to 47 to take out the Quad Series title in Invercargill on Sunday.

Finishing higher than the Diamonds on the ladder based on percentage it was the first time New Zealand have won a series over Australia since the 2012 Constellation Cup.

Reverting back to the same starting seven which began their game against the England Roses, Australia knew they would be in for a hard fought battle against the home side.
Due to the trans-Tasman rivals parting ways and Australia forming their own Suncorp Super Netball competition in 2017, this match marked the first time the Australians had come up against a New Zealand side all year. 
In what was a reasonably familiar style of play in the old ANZ Championship, the Silver Ferns infamous zone defence caused havoc for the Australians right from the first whistle.
As the home side defenders confused space the Diamonds' attackers lacked connection struggling to find captain and goal shooter, Caitlin Bassett under the post.
A high penalty count from the Australian defensive end in the first term also proved costly as the side entered the first break eight goals behind.
Diamonds Head Coach, Lisa Alexander said "it's who takes that ascendancy psychologically in that first quarter and we played into their hands, we talked about not doing that but unfortunately we did."
"We know about all our strategies against the zone, we simply just didn't do it."
Moving into the second quarter Australia brought Liz Watson into the centre position having an immediate impact with her feeds into the circle. 
Although the Australians outscored the Silver Ferns 14 to 13 in the second term, they still found themselves behind at the main break 24 to 31.
The second half saw the Australians scramble as they attempted to find a winning combination, the changes however proved to have no effect on the home side as they pushed ahead to take an 11 goal lead into three-quarter time. 
In one final effort Alexander made changes to her team for the final quarter, including the introduction of debutant Emily Mannix into the goal keeper position.
In what could only be described as a greater hunger for the win, New Zealand continued their dominance to run out ten goal winners.
Diamonds captain, Caitlin Bassett said "tonight I think we lost our connection."
"We didn't play as a team, we were doing too much individual work and not enough unit work. They split us apart. They exposed that for us, put us into individual units, we didn't step up and get back together again."
"The things that we've been doing in the last couple of games and the things that we've been building, unfortunately didn't come out tonight," said Bassett. 
The Diamonds will next take on the New Zealand Silver Ferns in the Constellation Cup beginning on the 5th of October 2017. 
In the lead up to the Constellation Cup Diamonds co-vice captain, Gabi Simpson said "first thing's first we will have a look at this game. The biggest thing we will be working on is our hunger, our desire and that true Aussie spirit, not from lack of effort but lack of smarts."
"We need to treasure the ball a bit more and that will be a big focus for us."
The Diamonds have now returned home for a short break before continuing their training in preparation for the first game of the Constellation Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.