Old foes to fight it out: Bas­sett

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - AMANDA LULHAM

AS Aus­tralia pre­pares for its last net­ball in­ter­na­tional of the year, cap­tain Caitlin Bas­sett is fore­cast­ing it will be the Di­a­monds and Sil­ver Ferns fight­ing over the gold medal at the Com­mon­wealth Games.

Eng­land and South Africa might be on the im­prove but the Aus­tralian sharp­shooter still be­lieves it will be Aus­tralia and New Zealand in the main game.

Aus­tralia and New Zealand have this month been in­volved in an en­gross­ing bat­tle for the Con­stel­la­tion Cup which con­cludes to­day at Qu­dos Bank Arena in Syd­ney. Both sides have con­tin­ued to ex­per­i­ment with their lines dur­ing the an­nual series but have also made it clear how se­ri­ous they have taken the con­tests.

These matches have given Bas­sett the in­tel to pre­dict Aus­tralia’s old neme­sis will re­main their chief foes on the Gold Coast.

“I still think it will be us and them,’’ Bas­sett said.

“Eng­land have im­proved im­mensely and so have South Africa.

“But I think Aus­tralia and New Zealand still have the ex­pe­ri­ence to get through.’’

Eng­land de­feated New Zealand last month in the Quad series, how­ever, they also lost to South Africa.

Since net­ball was added to the Games pro­gram in 1998, ev­ery fi­nal has been con­tested be­tween the cur­rent No. 1 and No. 2 sides.

The four- game Con­stel­la­tion Cup has dou­bled as an au­di­tion for Aus­tralian play­ers want­ing to make the 12- strong team to com­pete on the Gold Coast. AUS­TRALIA v NEW ZEALAND 2PM TO­DAY, LIVE ON Ch. 9

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