Relentless Australian Diamonds hold off late Silver Ferns comeback to win first Constellation Cup Test

The Australian Diamonds have held off a tenacious comeback by the Silver Ferns to win 57-54 in the first Constellation Test at Spark Arena in Auckland tonight.

FULLTIME: NZL 54 AUS 57

57 mins: NZL 52 AUS 53

Coming down to the wire and the crowd are really getting into it now. New Zealand trail by just one-point with only three minutes remaining.

54 mins: NZL 49 AUS 51

MISTAKE! Maria Tutaia throws a poor looping pass with the Diamonds making an easy read - the Ferns on the back foot with six minutes remaining.

Maria Tutaia of New Zealand competes against April Brandley of Australia. 2017 Constellation Cup match, New Zealand Silver Ferns v Australian Diamonds at Spark Arena, Auckland, New Zealand. 5 October 2017 © Copyright Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung / www.photosport.nz
Maria Folau of New Zealand competes against April Brandley of Australia. Source: Photosport

50 mins: NZL 45 AUS 48

Oh no! Umpires rule Bailey Mes was stepping in the shooting circle and the Ferns hand the ball back over to the visitors.

47 mins: NZL 42 AUS 43

MISTAKE! Caitlin Bassett throws a poor pass and NZ come up with the ball, Maria Tutaia sinks another long range shot at goal. NZ claw their way back and Australia hold a one-point lead.

46 mins: NZL 38 AUS 42

Another botched start from the Silver Ferns as they hand the ball straight back into the hands of the Diamonds.

45 mins: NZL 38 AUS 42

A messy quarter from both side's as Australia keep their four-point advantage over New Zealand. The visitors have been relentless on both attack and defence forcing the Ferns to work for every single goal.

NZ still in touch with one quarter remaining.

42 mins: NZL 36 AUS 40

Temalisi Fakahokotau again comes up with a clever turnover as the Ferns close the gap to just four-points. 

40 mins: NZL 33 AUS 38

Australia extend their lead out to five-points.

39 mins: NZL 32 AUS 35

Great work from Katrina Grant and Temalisi Fakahokotau for the Ferns on defence, as they get an important rebound after Caitlin Bassett misses a shot at goal for Australia.

36 mins: NZL 29 AUS 33

Maria Tutaia and Bailey Mes starting to find their groove as they pull back the deficit to just four points. The Silver Ferns still playing catch up in the third quarter.

34 mins: NZL 27 AUS 33

TURNOVER! Australia pounce on another mistake by the Ferns and Caitlin Bassett makes the home team pay with another successful shot at goal for Australia.

31 mins: NZL 25 AUS 29

We are back underway with Australia with the centre pass. 

HALFTIME: NZL 25 AUS 29

Temalisi Fakahokotau has been instrumental for the Silver Ferns with her input in the second quarter coming up with two turnovers as the Diamonds go into halftime with a four-point lead.

28 mins: NZL 24 AUS 29

Bailey Mes makes a crucial turnover and keeps her 100 per cent shooting percentage intact. The new defender for the Ferns Temalisi Fakahokotau gets an important rebound for NZ.

27 mins: NZL 22 AUS 27

Temalisi Fakahokotau and Kayla Cullen enter the game for the Silver Ferns.

23 mins: NZL 19 AUS 26

Mistake by the Diamonds in the shooting circle and the Silver Ferns get a much needed turnover, Maria Tutaia converts down the other end. But again a poor looping pass is easily read by the Diamonds and they pounce on it.

20 mins: NZL 18 AUS 24

Great work by Kelly Jury in the defensive circle as she earns a rebound for New Zealand, but her hard work is wasted as the NZ side give the ball straight back to Australia. NZ in real trouble now as the visitors extend their lead by six.

17 mins: NZL 16 AUS 20

Maria Tutaia sinks another long range shot, a poor pass from Tutaia leads to another turnover but NZ react quickly to get the ball back off the Diamonds.

15 mins: NZL 13 AUS 17

Australia end the first quarter with a four-point lead, some poor passing and use of the ball by the Silver Ferns in the first quarter. But they are still in the fight with Katrina Grant and Kelly Jury looking staunch on defence for NZ giving the Aussie shooters a hard time.

14 mins: NZL 13 AUS 15

A chance here for the Silver Ferns as the Diamonds throw a loose pass, the Silver Ferns convert down the other end.

12 mins: NZL 11 AUS 15

Just as it looked like the Ferns were finding some momentum on attack the Australian defenders come up with a great turnover to punish the NZ side.

10 mins: NZL 9 AUS 11

Silver Ferns are on the back foot, giving away the ball with some rushed passes. But they get a turnover late in the game and they close the gap.

8 mins: NZL 6 AUS 9

Australia putting the pressure on the home side as they struggle to get the ball into the shooting circle. Another mistake from the Silver Ferns and the visitors push out their lead to three points.

5 mins: NZL 5 AUS 5

A mistake from NZ as they lose possession of the ball and Australia get a turnover.

2 mins: NZL 2 AUS 2

A close and even contest so far, Maria Tutaia nails a classy long range shot.

0 mins: NZL 0 AUS 0

New Zealand with the centre pass to get the game underway.

PRE-MATCH:

The last time the Silver Ferns faced the Australian side the New Zealand team came out on top, thumping Australia 57-47 in Invercargill last month to claim the Quad Series title for the first time.

The Silver Ferns are most likely to stick with Maria Tutaia and Bailey Mes in the shooting circle, but don't be surprised if Te Paea Selby-Rickit makes an appearance late in the game.

Katrina Grant and Kelly Jury have been named to start at GD and GK.

Jury, 20, was instrumental in shutting down Australia's Caitlin Bassett in Invercargill with her 192cm frame causing trouble for the Diamonds.   

TEAMS:

Silver Ferns: Katrina Grant (c), Maria Tutaia (vc), Gina Crampton, Kayla Cullen, Temalisi Fakahokotau, Shannon Francois, Kelly Jury, Bailey Mes, Te Paea Selby-Rickit, Samantha Sinclair, Whitney Souness, Maia Wilson.

Australian Diamonds: Caitlin Bassett, April Brandley, Courtney Bruce, Emily Mannix, Caitlyn Nevins, Susan Pettitt, Kim Ravaillion, Gabi Simpson, Caitlin Thwaites, Liz Watson, Jo Weston, Stephanie Wood.

0mins: NZL 0 AUS 0
20 mins: NZL 18 AUS 24
HALFTIME: NZL 25 AUS 29


Copycats? Aussies unveil netball captain for Quad Series... after a team vote

Caitlin Bassett's retention as Australian netball captain came down to a team vote, coach Lisa Alexander has confirmed.

In an unexpected revelation ahead of the Quad Series starting in Auckland on Saturday, Alexander said the Diamonds canvassed players via a 3-2-1 voting system on a semi-regular basis to determine their skipper.

Veteran goal shoot Bassett had won the most recent election after a new-look squad gathered to prepare for the series which also features England, New Zealand and Australia's opening opponents, South Africa.

It had been widely assumed Bassett was simply retained as skipper from their most recent campaign, April's Commonwealth Games.

However, Alexander said each player had been asked to cast their votes openly to keep accountability high and allow players to clear the air.

Questions about the voting method only emerged after New Zealand's newly- appointed coach Noeline Taurua this week revealed a voting system to unearth a captain.

Returning midcourt veteran Laura Langman topped the ballot and was unveiled today.

New coach Noeline Taurua let the players choose their leader. Source: 1 NEWS

Alexander wasn't surprised successful Sunshine Coast Lightning mentor Taurua had gone down the democratic path as it was commonly used in Australian netball circles.

"We've been doing that ourselves for a long time," she told AAP.

"Noeline is getting the opinions of her players and seeing where they stand and how they'll work together. It's a smart thing to do and will only benefit them."

Langman was named captain after a team vote led by new coach Noeline Taurua. Source: 1 NEWS

Alexander said the public nature of Australia's voting system meant nothing gets hidden between players.

The newly-elected captain or a teammate who falls short in the process can seek immediate feedback.

For example, not all of the Diamonds players voted for 30-year-old Bassett, she said.

"There are athletes that she'll know she needs to reconnect with or talk with and say 'what is it about what I'm doing that you're not happy with?

"So they can have those genuine conversations which are really important for us to move forward as a high performance team."

Alexander is relishing the prospect of a tightly-fought Quad Series.

She admits the match against England in Newcastle on Wednesday is in the back of her mind, having gone down by a solitary goal to the Roses in the final of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

However, she was reluctant to look too far beyond Saturday's opponents South Africa, coached by her long-serving Diamonds predecessor Norma Plummer.

"I'm a huge admirer of Norma, we go back such a long way," Alexander said.

"She's competitive like I am and there's no way she'll coach a team that will lie down."

Kelly Jury defends Caitlin Bassett
Kelly Jury defends Caitlin Bassett Source: Photosport

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

New Silver Ferns skipper Laura Langman describes her role - 'I'm the PVA, the glue!'

Laura Langman may be the official Silver Ferns captain but she's seeing her role more as the adhesive in a squad of leaders than someone who will strictly control it.

Langman was announced as the first skipper under Noeline Taurua's reign thanks to a team vote issued by the new coach. 

She replaces Katrina Grant. 

"I was told last night," she said.

"We had to get our forms back by yesterday, 1pm!"

The recalled midcourter said she expects multiple players to contribute their leadership skills to the squad as they look to bury an embarrassing Commonwealth Games campaign earlier this year.

"I definitely want to ensure that I just do the coin toss and then from there, everyone has their role and contributes.

"I feel like 99 per cent of my role is to do my job, whatever that is on-court or off-court, to the best of my ability and to provide guidance or be a link wherever needed.

"Pretty much, I'm just the PVA. The glue in the middle."

Langman and the Silver Ferns take on England on Saturday in their first international match since the Commonwealth Games at Spark Arena.

Langman was named captain after a team vote led by new coach Noeline Taurua. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Revealed: The new Silver Ferns captain, selected after voting from players and staff

The Silver Ferns have announced today that their new skipper will be re-called midcourter Laura Langman, as the New Zealand side prepare for the Quad Series which begins on Saturday in Auckland.

New Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua let the players choose their captain via a 3-2-1 voting basis, but she and chief executive Jennie Wyllie also casted a vote. Defender and prior skipper Katrina Grant was named vice-captain.

"It is a very short turn around for our team heading into this series and as a group we decided Laura and Katrina were the players to fill those two leadership roles over the next two months," Taurua said.

"Laura's leadership qualities have been recognised in regards to her high standards she sets, her passion for the game and black dress, and her strong work ethic.

"She is a player who leads by example both on and off the court and has the respect of her peers.

"I know she’s excited to be playing at this level again and with the honour that comes with captaining your country and with the leadership experience that Katrina brings they will provide a strong foundation base for the side."

The midcourt veteran will has returned to the Ferns' squad after time overseas. Source: 1 NEWS

Langman and Grant will fill the roles through to the Constellation Cup and the positions will be reviewed looking ahead to next year’s Netball World Cup in England.

The opening Quad Series Tests on Saturday pits Australia against South Africa and New Zealand against England.

Silver Ferns midcourter Laura Langman Source: Photosport


Topics


Silver Ferns defender Temalisi Fakahokotau's season comes to abrupt end after rupturing ACL

The Silver Ferns have suffered a serious setback ahead of their first match under new coach Noeline Taurua with experienced defender Temalisi Fakahokotau ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

Fakahokotau ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee during training today.

Taurua said it was a big blow to the squad.

"Temalisi is an outstanding player both on and off the court and the loss of her defensive energies will be missed by the team."

The 24-year-old was coming off a successful ANZ Premiership season leading the defensive stats in intercepts, deflections and rebounding with the Mainland Tactix.

Northern Mystics defender Michaela Sokolich-Beatson has been called into the team as injury cover.

The Silver Ferns begin their Netball Quad Series on Saturday against England.

New Zealand's Temalisi Fakahokotau. Silver Ferns v Australia, Netball semi final Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. Saturday 14 April, 2018. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz
New Zealand's Temalisi Fakahokotau in action for the Silver Ferns in a Commonwealth Games semi-final match against Australia. Source: Photosport