Ready to shine in de­cider


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - SPORT - Jil­lian McKee

THE Aus­tralian net­ball Di­a­monds will go into the fi­nal game of the Con­stel­la­tion Cup against the New Zealand Ferns with a 2-1 ad­van­tage.

The Di­a­monds took out the first two games in New Zealand, win­ning 58-48 in Christchurch and 50-44 in Auck­land.

The Sil­ver Ferns fought back in the third game in Mel­bourne, beat­ing the Dia- monds 50-47 in Mel­bourne on Sun­day.

The vic­tory was the Sil­ver Ferns’ first Con­stel­la­tion Cup win since late 2013.

We have to pick our­selves up and bring our A game to Perth, not a C game that wasn’t good enough. – LISA ALEXAN­DER

The Aus­tralians couldn’t have asked for a bet­ter start af­ter they led by six goals at quar­ter-time, de­spite an in­ex­pe­ri­enced start­ing seven in the last match on Sun­day night.

How­ever, in­juries and the loss of a few key play­ers took their toll on the team.

Di­a­monds coach Lisa Alexan­der said they were dis­ap­pointed with the loss.

“At the end of the day, we’re ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated we’ve lost this game,” she said.

“We have to pick our­selves up and bring our A game to Perth, not a C game that wasn’t good enough to­day.”

St Clair’s Paige Hadley had some big shoes to fill dur­ing the Con­stel­la­tion Cup this year, tak­ing over the WA patch from cham­pion Kim Green, who re­tired from in­ter­na­tional net­ball.

Hadley helped lead the Di­a­monds’ at­tack to the two wins, play­ing the full games, how­ever sat on the bench for the ma­jor­ity of the last game, with Gre­tel Tip­pet mak­ing her Aus­tralian de­but at wing.

Hadley told her so­cial me­dia fol­low­ers the Di­a­monds would fight back.

“Tough loss yes­ter­day … but en route to Perth to make our re­demp­tion! Ab­so­lutely love play­ing on home soil.”

The fi­nal game of the Con­stel­la­tion Cup will be played at Perth Arena at 9.45pm lo­cal time.

A New Zealand win in Perth means the se­ries will fin­ish at 2-2 and the tro­phy holder will be de­cided on goal per­cent­age.

Pic­ture: AAP IMAGES

Paige Hadley in ac­tion dur­ing Aus­tralia’s win against the Sil­ver Ferns in Christchurch.

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