Constellation Cup not Over Yet as New Zealand Takes Down Australia

Noah Strang
Noah Strang
BettingTop10 News
Australia Falls in Third Constellation Cup Game to New Zealand

Australia now holds a 2-1 series edge after dropping game three of the Constellation Cup, keeping the Silver Ferns hopes alive.  

News Insights

  • Diamonds fall to Silver Ferns: Recap.
  • New Zealand’s Grace Nweke shines in the victory.
  • Final game of the series to take place on Monday in Auckland.
  • Australia still well in the driver’s seat.

The Australian Diamonds began this year’s Constellation Cup in fine form taking both games on home soil to take a 2-0 lead. They faltered in New Zealand on Thursday however, dropping game three 56-53 as they now must at the very least keep the score close in game four to win the series. 

Diamonds Vs. Silver Ferns Game Three: As it Happened

Leading the series 2-0 coming into game three, Australia were significant favourites to claim victory and lock up the series. However, given that the match was being played in Invercargill, a place the Diamonds have just three wins in their past 11 appearances, a win was anything but certain.  
 The Diamonds got on the board early as a tipped ball fell right to Cara Koenen who subsequently sent it through for a 1-0 lead.  
The two rival teams would then trade baskets on their way to a 3-3 lock. The Diamonds then started making some uncharacteristic mistakes to which the Silver Ferns took advantage of. New Zealand jumped out to a 9-5 lead.  
It was then Australia’s turn to go on a run of their own as they put in seven straight goals. By the first quarter’s end, Australia had a 14-10 lead and looked to have sustained and countered New Zealand’s initial push.  
The second quarter began with the two teams trading goals with Australia’s lead hovering between five and six. The Silver Ferns then stepped on the throttle once again and went for six straight to tie the match at 21. 
They kept up the strong play throughout the whole quarter taking a 28-24 lead into halftime.  
The Diamonds began the third quarter on the front foot, potting three straight goals to cut into the Silver Ferns lead. 
Australia would go on to have two more runs of five and three goals respectively in the quarter. They outscored the Silver Ferns 18-12 in the quarter and took a 42-40 lead into the final frame with a chance at Constellation Cup glory.  
The Silver Ferns started the last quarter playing the better netball of the two teams and went on a 6-3 run to take the lead. Australia quickly found an equalizer however to tie it up.  
The two teams would go back and forth over the course of the quarter, but some sloppy Diamond’s play led to a turnover which the Silver Ferns converted on their way to a 53-51 lead with two minutes remaining.  
They would then pot another to take a three-goal lead which they never gave up winning the game 56-53.  
Shooter Grace Nweke was the star for the Silver Ferns as the Australian back line had no response for her going for 34/36 goals in the victory.  

Deciding Game Four Set for Monday in Auckland 

Despite the loss, Australia is still well in control of this Constellation Cup having won the opening two matches by 19 goals combined.  
In order to lose the Cup, the Diamonds must have a collapse of epic proportions in Auckland on Monday and lose by more than 17 goals.  
However, a 2-2 series split and winning on goal differential is not what the Diamonds want. Following the loss, head coach Stacey Marinkovich stated, “We certainly don’t come to try and win on goal percentage or for-and-against.” 
It’s safe to say the Diamonds won’t be looking to cruise through this match and win on goal differential. Expect them to come out firing and that starts with them containing Grace Nweke and limiting her damage. 

Australia now has a 2-1 lead in the Constellation Cup after losing game three in Invercargill to the Silver Ferns. Although the Diamonds need to only lose by less than 17 points in game four to win the series, they are set on taking the match outright.