Silver Ferns fall to Diamonds as Australia level Constellation Cup series

Relive 1 NEWS NOW's live coverage of the second Constellation Cup Test between the Silver Ferns and Australia from Spark Arena, Auckland.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio competes for the ball against Australia Source: Photosport

Click here for the full match report.

9:10pm: FULLTIME: NZ 42 AUS 48

Folau and Mes finish strong, but it's too little, too late for the Ferns. Game over. Series level.

9:09pm: Q4 14 mins - NZ 40 AUS 48

Into the final minute, barring something extraordinary, this should be Australia's match. Folau hits the rim again as NZ trail by eight.

9:07pm: Q4 12 mins - NZ 40 AUS 47

Laura Langman is in real pain here, it looks like she's hurt her hand. Burger is doing brilliantly in defence to keep Australia out, but the Diamonds are relentless. Less than three minutes to go, Australia ahead by seven.

9:06pm: Q4 11 mins - NZ 40 AUS 46

Into the final five minutes, Australia ahead buy six. Folau's shot hits the rim to keep the gap at six.

9:03pm: Q4 8 mins - NZ 38 AUS 44

Bruce again saves the day for Australia, her ninth intercepted pass, to keep out Mes. Tippett scores at the other end to push the lead to six goals.

9:00pm: Q4 5 mins - NZ 36 AUS 41

Folau and Mes doing some damage to cut the lead to just four. Australia hit back at the other end.

8:58pm: Q4 4 mins - NZ 34 AUS 40

Folau keeping the Ferns within touching distance, cutting the gap to six points. Tippett misses her first of the night at the other end.

8:56pm: Q4 2 mins - NZ 32 AUS 37

Tippett lands the first goal of the final spell, Australia ahead by six. Folau grabs one back at the other end though.

8:55pm: Q4 1 min - NZ 32 AUS 37

We're away in the final quarter, what can the Ferns do? 

8:50pm: Q3 15 mins - NZ 32 AUS 37

Mes lands her first goal at the end of the third. Australia leading by five, but the Ferns have the momentum heading into the final spell!

8:48pm: Q3 14 mins - NZ 31 AUS 35

Australia under some real pressure now! Folau cuts the gap back to five, and the Diamonds can't hold on to the ball!

Make that four points! Six unanswered goals from the Ferns!

8:46pm: Q3 12 mins - NZ 28 AUS 35

Some brilliant defence from Burger sees the Ferns go down the other end, Folau bringing the scores back to within eight.

Mes replaces Akenasio, before Folau sinks another to bring it back to seven points!

8:43pm: Q3 9 mins - NZ 25 AUS 35

What an impact Courtney Bruce is having at the back for the Diamonds. Australia's lead reaches 10, but Souness and Folau combine to at least bring it back to single figures.

Bassett pushes it back to 10 at the other end.

8:41pm: Q3 7 mins - NZ 24 AUS 32

Australia's lead now nine, their defence really looking tight tonight. Folau brings it back to eight though.

8:38pm: Q3 4 mins - NZ 23 AUS 29

Australia's lead out to seven, but Ekenasio cuts it back to six. Still a huge lead to have to claw back from though.

Noeline Taurua yet to go to the bench.

8:35pm: Q3 1 min - NZ 21 AUS 27

We're away in the third quarter, the Ferns need to pull things back. Bassett opens the scoring.

8:22pm: Q2 15 mins - NZ 21 AUS 26

Langman working hard to link the midcourt with the attack, but Ekenasio misses a shot in the final minute.

Australia go up the other end, but Tippett can't hang on to a pass. Ekenasio misses again, Australia launch the ball long but run out of time.

8:18pm: Q2 12 mins - NZ 19 AUS 26

Australia's lead now seven as we near the end of the second quarter.

8:16pm: Q2 10 mins - NZ 18 AUS 22

Australia push their lead out to five, the biggest margin of the night. Folau cuts it back to four though.

8:13pm: Q2 7 mins - NZ 16 AUS 18

Australia threatening to pull away, but Folau does well to keep the Ferns in the contest.

NZ back to within two.

8:11pm: Q2 5 mins - NZ 14 AUS 17

Watson applying some real pressure to Bassett, unfortunately though, Tippett hasn't missed a shot tonight.

Ekenasio lands another shot.

8:09pm: Q2 4 mins - NZ 13 AUS 14

Ekenasio brings scores back to within one for the Ferns!

8:06pm: Q2 1 min - NZ 11 AUS 13

Langman gets things going in the second. Ekenasio with the first points.

8:02pm: Q1 15 mins - NZ 10 AUS 13

Tippett holds her nerve at one end, before Folau and Ekenasio hit back at the end of the first quarter. Tippett bags another to bring the first spell to an end.

8:00pm: Q1 13 mins - NZ 8 AUS 10

Folau brings the Ferns back to within two, quiet night so far for Ekenasio.

7:55pm: Q1 9 mins - NZ 4 AUS 8

Australia starting to pull away now, Bassett lands another to lead by four.

7:53pm: Q1 7 mins - NZ 3 AUS 5

Bruce is standing out so far, having missed the series opener in Christchurch. The Diamonds are solid at the back, the Silver Ferns sloppy with the ball.

Folau sinks a shot on the second attempt to cut Australia's lead.

7:51pm: Q1 4 mins - NZ 2 AUS 3

Burger climbs about Bassett and Tippett to win a turnover before Langman is fouled. Folau and Ekenasio interchange passes, and Bruce fouls Ekenasio. 

Ekenasio makes her shot to level scores, before Australia hit straight back at the other end.

7:49pm: Q1 2 mins - NZ 1 AUS 1

Tippett opens the scoring for the night, but Folau hits right back with her first effort. Watson wins a turnover at the other end, Langman, Saunders and Ekenasio do well to move the ball up the court, before Saunders loses possession.

7:48pm: Q1 1 minute - NZ 0 AUS 0

We're away! Australia have first use of the ball.


Time for the national anthems, Australia first, New Zealand second.


The Diamonds are still the bookies' favourites, but that hasn't exactly helped them in the last couple of matches.

The Ferns meanwhile are going for their third straight win over Australia, something they've not done for 13 years.


Good evening! The first big of news is that Phoenix Karaka is out with concussion, seeing the Ferns put out the defensive duo of Karen Burger with Jane Watson at the back.


NZ: GS: Maria Folau, GA: Ameliranne Ekenasio, WA: Shannon Saunders, C: Laura Langman, WD: Katrina Rore, GD: Karen Burger, GK: Jane Watson

AUS: GS: Caitlin Bassett, GA: Gretel Tippett, WA: Laura Scherian, C: Liz Watson, WD: Ashleigh Brazill, GD: Joanna Weston, GK: Courtney Bruce.


After a nail biting one goal win by the Ferns in Christchurch on Sunday, the Silver Ferns can take a huge step towards winning back the Constellation Cup, looking for an unassailable series lead tonight.

Standing in their way though, are an Australian side whose pride has been bruised, losing the series opener on top of a World Cup final defeat to their trans-Tasman rivals back in July.

Coach Noeline Taurua has indicated she won't relent in her team selection, planning to play her strongest side before the two return matches across the ditch next week.

Victory tonight won't be enough to see the Constellation Cup return to Kiwi shores though, the Silver Ferns needing an outright series win to reclaim the trophy for the first time since 2012.