Silver Ferns V Australia - live!
Thu, 01 Nov 2012 6:50p.m.
By James Bennett
Hello and welcome to Hamilton for tonight's final quad series netball clash against Australia.
Tonight is a chance for redemption for a Silver Ferns side who have been smarting since their last outing against the Diamonds.
While a quad series victory seems very unlikely, tonight serves as a platform for the Ferns to regain a mental edge over an Aussie side brimming with confidence.
We’ll bring you video live updates throughout the match, including video highlights of all the big plays and crucial goals.
Make sure you refresh your page occasionally. We’ll add VIDEO COMING SOON when we’re cutting the highlights and VIDEO UP when it’s ready to be viewed.
LIVE COMMENTARY: Silver Ferns 48 – 43 Australia Diamonds
While you wait for the start, watch Ashlee Tulloch’s pre match report.
Silver Ferns: Casey Williams (captain), Jodi Brown, Kayla Cullen, Leana de Bruin, Katrina Grant, Anna Harrison, Laura Langman, Cathrine Latu, Camilla Lees, Bailey Mes, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk.
Australian Diamonds: Natalie von Bertouch (captain), Caitlin Bassett, Erin Bell, Madison Browne, Rebecca Bulley, Bianca Chatfield, Catherine Cox, Renae Hallinan, Mo’onia Gerrard, Chanel Gomes, Chelsea Pitman, Susan Pratley.
Although a quad series victory seems unlikely, the Silver Ferns are out to restore some pride when they take on the Australian Diamonds tonight in Hamilton.
Swamped 68-48 when the two teams met 10 days ago in Sydney, the New Zealanders are looking for a little redemption in the last match of this year's international schedule at Claudelands Arena.
Van Dyk can't wait. At 40 years old, the 1.90m shooter has amassed 200-plus caps for New Zealand and South Africa, but there's no sign her love of the battle is lessening.
She says it's the strength and versatility of the Australian defence that makes it so intimidating - not to mention sheer unrelenting bloody-mindedness.
"They are tight man-on, they don't give an inch, regardless of who they put out there," van Dyk told NZ Newswire.
Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander has an impressive array of options available to her in the defensive circle - she can mix and match a range of youth and experience in Bianca Chatfield, Bec Bulley, Mo'onia Gerrard or Chanel Gomes to battle the accuracy of van Dyk and Maria Tutaia.
"The strongest combination, we think, would be Chatfield and Bulley, but if they want to toughen us up, they could bring Gerrard on at goal defence just to let Ria feel a bit of body," van Dyk said.
"They are nuggetty, they go for the full 60 minutes and they wear you down."
Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu has been working on combating that intense defensive pressure by crowding the court with extra players in training.
"That's why Wai is overloading us, having people hanging onto us, to try and emulate what happens in a game," van Dyk said.
"They were holding onto us, just getting the body ready for that physicality and someone on you the whole time - it messes with your timing."
Van Dyk, who sat out the first quarter against Australia in Sydney, says the memory of that match provides all the motivation the Silver Ferns need on Thursday.
"This is our last international game for the year, and we desperately want to end up on a high to rectify what we've done. We have to have a blinder."
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