An enormous double header awaits netball fans this Fathers’ Day, with England taking on South Africa before our Samsung Diamonds do battle against New Zealand on the kiwi’s home turf.
Get ready for the trans-tasman rivalry to heat up once again, with the Netball Quad Series title on the line.
The Diamonds were challenged by South Africa on Wednesday night, and have identified they’ll need to be more adaptable to different connections across the court and treasure possession of the ball.
Coach Lisa Alexander has said that she won’t be afraid to make changes to their line-up – will we see Emily Mannix make her Australian debut? All twelve Australians are raring to go and vying for their place in the starting line-up, leaving Alexander with some tough coaching decisions to make.
New Zealand lost to England in their last test, shaking up the competition. This leaves the door open for Australia, England or New Zealand to clinch the title. How will New Zealand bounce back?
Look out for the game changing contest between Kimberley Ravaillion and Shannon Francois. The two speedy centres have similar international experience, both debuting in 2013. Rav has 42 tests to Francois’ 39 appearances and both are known for their incredible fitness. As a key link between attack and defence, if one can cancel the other out they will be in good stead.
If Australia win, the Quad Series title is theirs for the third time. If New Zealand will, it will be dependent on the result of the England and South African game.
From the coach…
“We haven’t played against New Zealand all year, after the formation of Suncorp Super Netball and their new league. We have kept an eye on their performances in this series, and the previous Netball Quad Series in January.
“In a sense, our trans-tasman rivalry has been amplified, as we don’t get to face New Zealand athletes as regularly in this new era of netball.
“It is always a challenge when facing the Silver Ferns on their home soil. We know this will be our hardest test yet, and have been building to this moment. They will be hungry after their loss to England and out to prove a point.
“Without a shadow of a doubt it will take nothing less than our absolute best to come out on top. It will take all of our grit, all of our determination to put out a performance we can be proud of.
“We always step out on court with victory as the goal. As proud Australians we want to put out our strongest performance yet, for our fans, for our family, for our country.”
photo Getty Images