Australia were humiliated by New Zealand in game one of the Constellation Cup with the squad struggling to find a new style of attack without Gretel Bueta.
The Silver Ferns made a blistering start to the clash, caught Australia napping and retained the lead throughout the four terms.
Questions must be asked about the opening quarter which saw the hosts storm to a 12 goal lead before capitalising on every Australian error.
Liz Watson described the result as “disappointing” as the team continues to adapt to playing without their star shooter Bueta.
“Everything was not going our way,” Watson said. “Our structure, our set up, everything.
“You need a good start against a side like this. We were just getting caught up in their space and not finding the drive to make space for the ball.
“We had patches of good momentum but it was disappointing.”
Asked about the attacking effort and finding a new style without Bueta who is pregnant with her second child, Watson added: “We will never be able to replace Gretel she is an amazing netballer but we tried all the goalers today but we need to find a different style of play than the way we do with Gretel.
“We need to find a stronger start moving forward, fingers crossed we can find some wins.”
Thrilled with the win, New Zealand’s shooter Ameliaranne Ekenasio said they would be wary of what comes in game II from a disgruntled Australia side.
“We’ve been working on it (start) for years,” she said.
“I’m so proud of the girls, what we have done well is stick to our game plan.
“We talk about these games being like four World Cup finals, we know Australia will come back hungry. We hope to have a little more discipline as we go.
“I haven’t played Australia for a few years now, I was nervous. I wasn’t expecting a full 60 but the level was what I expected.”
FULL-TIME NZ 56-48 DIAMONDS
Didn’t see this result coming but terrific from New Zealand and that will fill them with confidence for Game II.
For Australia, a lot to learn and a lot to fix.
Q4 NZ 54-44 DIAMONDS
Sophie Garbin needs to be starting for Australia. Sure, the scoreline isn’t what we all expected but there has been a noticeable improvement in the circle movement since she came on.
Q4 NZ 48-39 DIAMONDS
Karaka off and Johnson on for NZ because of the blood rule. Frustrations coming through from Bruce, she’s penalised again for heavy contact, not much going the Diamonds’ way at the moment.
As an aside Parmenter has come into this game more and more, the midcourt has been a challenge but she’s channeling her inner Ash Braz right now. Seven to play
Q4 NZ 47-38 DIAMONDS
Garbin on to GS and Wood into GA a double shooting switch and thats a rarity. The ball no getting to them though and that’s because the centre third is totally closed off there are no options for the midcourters. New Zealand gets the turnover and the difference is nine, really sloppy from Australia.
Q4 NZ 43-36 DIAMONDS
Stacey essentially saying get moving in her team chat, dont hold space standing still. Keep moving, keep finding options. Back to basics kind of netball. It’s what will calm things down.
Well the final term starts with the Aussies losing posession so the nerves remain.
Eight goals the gap
Q3 NZ 42-36 DIAMONDS
Is there a way back into this for the Diamonds? If there is they need the cleanest quarter of netball they wqill have played ina very long time. Too much posession being lost in faffing around the circle. Why aren’t they shooting from distance? It’s ridiculous, Austin looks perplexed, it’s very simple, just shoot. No urgency.
And New Zealand finish the third with the upper hand after a really bad period.
Q3 NZ 38-34 DIAMONDS
The gap is down to three with four to play and the Diamonds are back in this. A very subdued 10 minutes from the silver ferns, distincly average from them.
Q3 NZ 35-30 DIAMONDS
Tell you what is letting the Diamonds down is the feeds into Koenen. She is being smothered out of the game so why shes not taking her D out to the side and opening up the circle I don’t know.
Deficit reduced to five goals with seven minutes to play, scoreline reflecting the balance in this third term but it’s still scrappy from Australia.
Q3 NZ 34-27 DIAMONDS
A rarely seen error or two from the Silver Ferns – in fact that’s unfair it was more just exceptional defence from the Diamonds and it continues into the midcourt.
Much more pressure from the ladies in green and gold this quarter
Q2 NZ 31-23 DIAMONDS
“Not looking good at all,” Green doesn’t miss in her assessment and she’s not wrong. Diamonds too hesitant and looking a little shellshocked – well a lot shell shocked if you get me. Koenan struggling for a millimetre in the circle.
Wood back at GS worth a go, she’s off for Austin at the moment.
A better quarter from the Diamonds but they’re going to need a very special third.
Q2 NZ 30-17 DIAMONDS
Jamie Lee Price on for Maloney and I’m surprised it’s taken this long for a change to come in. Only four turnovers against the Ferns which gives you some insight into how clinical they’re being this evening.
Q2 NZ 24-14 DIAMONDS
This is a struggle for the Diamonds, a real struggle the pressure from NZ is formidable. Parmenter struggling for options, no one getting free for her, some basics reallt not falling into place. Sure they’re missing Bueta but also the likes of Brazill and Watson.
Q1 NZ 20- 9 DIAMONDS
Australia has barely had their hands on the ball in the final period of the quarter. Definitely missing Bueta at this stage, communications are off and there’s isnt a central voice of reason.
“That is ridiculous,” Kim Greene said on Kayo. Almost speechless by the Kiwi onslaught. Honestly this is a little embarrassing.
40% possession for Australia is generous to say the least.
Q1 GAME ON: NZ 13-8 DIAMONDS
A real swing int he momentum here and trouble for the Diamonds, getting mauled by their oppponents. Timing on the passes not working for Australia just yet and NZ mastering the turnover. 58% posession for the hosts after 10 minutes
Q1 GAME ON: NZ 3-4 DIAMONDS
A game of patience from the Diamonds early on and that’s encouraging, NZ have a tendency to make opponents panic and rush. Wood from range shooting well but so too are the Kiwis.
Ekenasio v Bruce – some match up coming here and Parmenter on debut! Plenty to be excited about for this clash.
Liz Watson (c)
NEW ZEALAND SILVER FERNS
Te Paea Selbu-Rickit
You can watch the Constellation Cup on Kayo and Fox Sports.
Originally published as Netball Constellation Cup Australia v New Zealand: Diamonds outclassed by Silver Ferns