The New Zealand Silver Ferns have claimed the Netball Quad Series by goal percentage after defeating the Samsung Diamonds, 57-47, at Invercargill’s ILT Southland Stadium.
It is the first time since the 2012 Constellation Cup that New Zealand has won a series over the Diamonds.
New Zealand youngster 192cm goal keeper Kelly Jury caused havoc in the Australian shooting circle – just as she did against the younger Australian side in the Netball World Youth Cup gold medal match in Botswana earlier this year to be named the Grand Final MVP. As a result the Diamonds had to rethink their feed into Bassett, disrupting the Australian attackers connections with the space confused by the Silver Ferns.
“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,” said Alexander.
“We know about all our strategies against the zone, we simply just didn’t do it.”
The Diamonds failed to capitalise on turnovers across the court, particularly in the opening half.
“Our defenders were also guilty of not getting the ball through, they made too many errors of their own on attack. In general, we didn’t play the Silver Ferns well,” said Alexander.
Captain Caitlin Bassett said, “once we got the ball in the circle there was no issue, it was getting the ball into the circle where we had the problem tonight. Whether it was lack of drive, I guess that meant I started moving a bit more which is not my normal game.”
Bassett identified that the Ferns broke down the connections within the usually interconnected Diamonds.
“Tonight I think we lost our connection,” she said.
“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.”
In a positive for the Diamonds, Emily Mannix made her Australian netball debut in the final quarter, coming on at goal keeper to become the 173rd player to represent Australia.
In the day’s other match-up, the South Africa SPAR Proteas caused an upset by defeating the England Roses, 54-51. All series the Proteas have presented a threat by pushing New Zealand (56-63) and the Diamonds (52-58) in their earlier games.
It was a thrilling 60-minute contest as South Africa jumped out to an early lead, only for England to fightback onto equal footing, 26-26, at half-time. A big ‘Premiership Quarter’ from the Proteas saw them outscore their opponents 16-12 in the third – goal shooter Lenize Potgieter providing a strong target in the circle to shoulder the majority of the scoring.
Despite England winning the final quarter 13-12, it wasn’t enough to catch the Proteas lead to produce a stunning upset in their final test of the series.
For GIANTS Fans, you’ll be interested to know that Jo Harten made her first appearance of the series, coming onto goal shooter for the second half, while Serena Guthrie played out the game at Centre for the second consecutive match.
NEW ZEALAND SILVER FERNS (57) defeated SAMSUNG DIAMONDS (47)
Samsung Diamonds shooting statistics
Caitlin Bassett 22/24 (92%)
Gretel Tippett 4/5 (80%)
Caitlin Thwaites 10/11 (91%)
Tegan Philip 11/12 (92%)
New Zealand Silver Ferns shooting statistics
Te Paea Selby-Rickit 35/41 (85%)
Bailey Mes 17/18 (94%)
Maia Wilson 5/5 (100%)
Australia starting seven – GS: Caitlin Bassett, GA: Gretel Tippett, WA: Madi Robinson, C: Kim Ravaillion, WD: Gabi Simpson, GD: April Brandley, GK: Courtney Bruce
New Zealand starting seven – GS: Te Paea Selby-Rickit, GA: Bailey Mes, WA: Gina Crampton, C: Shannon Francois, WD: Samantha Sinclair, GD: Katrina Grant, GK: Kelly Jury
Match MVP: Kelly Jury (New Zealand)
SOUTH AFRICA SPAR PROTEAS (54) defeated ENGLAND ROSES (51)
South Africa SPAR Proteas shooting statistics
Lenize Potgieter 43/45 (96%)
Maryka Holtzhausen 11/15 (73%)
England Roses shooting statistics
Kadeen Corbin 10/13 (77%)
Helen Housby 26/29 (90%)
Jo Harten 15/18 (83%)
South Africa starting seven – GS: Lenize Potgieter, GA: Maryka Holtzhausen, WA: Bongiwe Msomi (C), C: Erin Burger, WD: Precious Mthembu, GD: Karla Mostert, GK: Phumza Maweni
England starting seven – GS: Kadeen Corbin, GA: Helen Housby, WA: Chelsea Pitman, C: Serena Guthrie, WD: Beth Cobden, GD: Ama Agbeze (C), GK: Geva Mentor