Diamonds Secure Fifth Straight Constellation Cup Win

Netball | Published: Thu 12 October 2017

The Australian Diamonds have secured the Constellation Cup for the fifth time in a row following a 12-goal victory over the New Zealand Silver Ferns in Adelaide yesterday.

The series, consisting of four netball games between the trans-Tasman rivals, commenced in Auckland on the 5th of October as the Diamonds looked for redemption after a 10-goal loss to the Ferns in the recent Quad Series in early September.

Game one saw the Australians come away with a three goal victory, however it was no easy feat.
 
Just as the Diamonds would begin to pull away the Silver Ferns would find a way to claw back to within a couple of goals.
 
An impressive start from the Diamonds proved to be pivotal in their ability to claim the first win of the series.
 
Game two was played at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch New Zealand where the Australians stepped it up to another level, this time claiming the victory by eight goals.
 
After another strong start, the Diamonds looked to be in control of the game right from the first whistle to the last.
 
Heading in to game three, last night in Adelaide, the Diamonds required only one more win to guarantee their retention of the Constellation Cup trophy. 
 
In their most convincing win in the series to date, the Australians proved why they are the world number one.
 
A close start to the match saw the two teams go almost goal for goal, the Diamonds eventually entering the first break with a two goal buffer over their opponents. 
 
The introduction of Stephanie Wood into goal attack for the second quarter, alongside Australia's outstanding ability to capitalize on their turnovers saw the series leaders pull out to a 10-goal lead part way through the second term. 
 
In an attempt to throw off the momentum of the Diamonds, New Zealand reacted making significant changes across the whole court.
 
Despite their efforts, Australia managed to double the Silver Ferns second quarter goal tally providing themselves with a healthy 11-goal lead heading into half time.
 
The third quarter saw a strong fight back from the visiting team as they halted many of Australia's attempts at transitioning the ball from defence to attack. 
 
Diamonds Head Coach Lisa Alexander said "what we were disappointed in was our lack of ability to bring it out of defence when we've won a lot of turnover ball, even in that quarter we should have been more ahead."
 
"Credit to the Silver Ferns, They did a really good job of stopping us, we'll have to go back and have a look at that."
 
The final break saw the Diamonds' lead diminished significantly, now leading by a mere four goals. 
 
The final term saw Alexander introduce debutant, Kate Moloney into the centre position whilst the experienced Caitlin Thwaites came on into goal shooter, making her first appearance for the 2017 Constellation Cup series. 
 
Alexander said "we needed an injection of drive in there and Kate Moloney and Liz [wing attack] have played together. I could see their connection just grow another level in that last quarter which was great."
 
The changes proved invaluable to the Diamonds as they scored seven unanswered goals in the opening five minutes of the quarter before surging further ahead to finish the game 12-goals in front of their opposition.
 
Western Australian defender Courtney Bruce was awarded player of the match after an impeccable performance which saw her add three intercepts, deflections and rebounds to her personal stats.
 
The final game of the Constellation Cup will be played this Saturday in Sydney, where the Australian Diamonds will be looking to round off their campaign with a clean sweep of victories over the New Zealand Silver Ferns.