The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand in any sport has always been intense. It’s a rather strange thing – with New Zealand often coming across as ‘the mouse that roared’. Aussies aren’t too interested in Rugby Union and frankly apart from Cricket – where Australia has dominated New Zealand, there are not too many other sporting codes where the rivalry lives up to the hype.
Except one – NETBALL!! – and right now the girls from the Shaky Isles – the land of the long white cloud – Aotearoa, have the Aussie gals on the ropes 2 series wins to 1 in the Constellation Cup series. With one game to go Australia can still claim the series with a win as their percentage is higher. Good luck to both teams from Nellakir. With luck the new courts under construction at Melbourne’s Netball Headquarters in Royal Park will be complete in time for the next series. Nellakir are the leading experts in Sprung Timber Sports Flooring in Victoria and Tasmania and have been contracted to complete the 6 new courts scheduled for the facility.
For now here’s an article that looks to the final game in Perth.
Constellation Cup: Diamond Caitlin Bassett set to shine at sell-out Perth clash
Fairytale endings have been few and far between for Caitlin Bassett over the past 18 months, but she hopes that will all change during her 100-game milestone for the Diamonds.
Captain Bassett will notch a century of matches for Australia in the winner-takes-all battle against New Zealand at a sold-out RAC Arena in her hometown Perth on Sunday.
The Silver Ferns lead the four-match Constellation Cup series 2-1, but Australia will win the title on percentage if they can triumph in Perth, and that would be a welcome change of fortune for 31-year-old Bassett.
She has enjoyed enormous international success since her 2008 debut, including two world titles, but there have been some heartbreaking results in big games since she took over the captaincy in late 2017.
In July, her team lost the World Cup final to NZ by a goal, having lost the Commonwealth Games final to England by the same margin last year.
Their two losses to NZ in this current series have also been by a single goal.
But a win in Perth on Sunday would see Australia snare the Constellation Cup for a seventh straight year.
The Diamonds notched a win in coach Lisa Alexander’s 100-game milestone earlier this month, and goal shooter Bassett hopes history will repeat itself on Sunday.
“For me the last couple of years the fairytale endings haven’t come off,“ Bassett said.
“But it would be cherry on top of the cake (if we can win this Sunday), it would be great.
“We had another great milestone in Lisa’s 100th and I think we did find that extra motivation to get that win. It was the Gatorade shower afterwards that we were so driven by.
“For us a milestone is fantastic, but for me it’s about the tradition we’ve had.
“In the past we’ve retained the Constellation Cup so many times. For me as captain it’s that motivation that I want to do what others did before me.”
So is Bassett expecting a Gatorade shower if they win?
“I’m hoping for champagne not Gatorade,” she said with a laugh.
Bassett said it was fitting her milestone was in Perth, where her glittering career first took off.
“To get out there in front of a crowd who first saw me as an uncoordinated bumbling teenager, and now (have seen me) develop into an uncoordinated bumbling adult – it’s pretty exciting,” she said.
Sunday’s crowd is expected to surpass Perth’s international netball record of 12,365.
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