The Diamonds have slipped to defeat of their return to Check netball, shedding 49-44 to New Zealand within the Constellation Cup opener on Tuesday evening.
Australia’s nationwide netball workforce, the Diamonds, have gained the Constellation Cup collection in opposition to New Zealand seven occasions in a row
Nevertheless the Diamonds have misplaced sport one of many 2021 collection to the Silver Ferns in Christchurch
New Zealand led by seven objectives at half-time, and though the Diamonds edged the ultimate quarter, the house facet gained 49-44
Some 492 days since their final outing and simply two days out of quarantine, Australia have been overwhelmed out of the blocks in Christchurch and by no means recovered.
The match was Stacey Marinkovich’s first as Australia coach and the victory will increase Kiwi hopes of profitable the Cup for the primary time since 2012.
Australia went in with 5 debutants. Kiera Austin began at aim assault, alongside her former Giants teammate Caitlin Bassett.
4 of the 5 gamers on the bench have been additionally enjoying their first sport for Australia; Sophie Garbin, Kim Jenner, Cara Koenen and Verity Charles.
The house facet started strongly, occurring a five-goal run to get out to a 10-5 lead. Australia responded with three objectives in a row, however the Diamonds ended up trailing 14-10 at quarter-time.
Australia scored the primary two objectives of the second quarter to shut inside two, however that was as shut as they acquired.
New Zealand progressively took management once more and established a 28-21 lead on the predominant break.
The Silver Ferns’ lead blew out to double figures early within the third time period earlier than Australia stormed again.
Marinkovich rang the modifications and had some success; captain Bassett and Austin in aim assault placed on 5 straight objectives.
The injection of Karin Burger in defence halfway by way of the third time period turned the tables and the Silver Ferns went to the final change forward 40-31.
Constellation Cup sport one:
NZ: M Wilson 31/40, A Ekenasio 18/23
AUS: C Bassett 19/21, Ok Austin 18/24
Centre Liz Watson mentioned the Diamonds made “fundamental errors” and “struggled to get by way of the zone defence”.
Australia shaded New Zealand within the fourth quarter, profitable it 13-9, however left themselves an excessive amount of to do.
Bassett, the common skipper below former coach Lisa Alexander however the first of Marinkovich’s rotated leaders on this collection, scored 19 objectives from 21 makes an attempt in a sometimes sturdy show.
The Silver Ferns have been outscored within the closing quarter, however they may take a 1-0 lead into sport two in opposition to Australia.(
AAP: John Davidson
Towards a steely Silver Ferns defence, Austin confirmed early nerves, lacking 4 of her first 10 earlier than ending with 18 from 24 pictures.
Charles performed the second half at wing assault.
Whereas Koenen took Bassett’s place for the fourth time period and scored seven, taking pictures at 100 per cent.
For New Zealand, aim shooter Maia Wilson was the chief in assault with 31 objectives from 40 makes an attempt.
Skipper Ameliaranne Ekenasio shot 18 from 23, and added 12 useful assists.
Australia might want to win the ultimate three video games or tie the collection 2-2 with a more healthy aim distinction to retain the Constellation Cup for an eighth straight time.
Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua, who masterminded a boilover 2019 World Cup closing win over Australia, served the Diamonds discover of their intent.
“We’re gunning for it. Now’s the time for us,” Taurua mentioned.
The collection has been rearranged resulting from COVID-19, with all 4 Exams being performed in Christchurch with out crowds.
Recreation two is on Wednesday earlier than the collection concludes with matches on Saturday and Sunday.