Netball Powerhouses Claim Victory in Wellington

The Australian Diamonds and New Zealand Silver Ferns have posted wins against South Africa and England respectively in the fourth fixture of the 2012 Holden Netball Quad Series played in Wellington, New Zealand.

Australia 68 def South Africa 36

The Diamonds have continued their unbeaten run during the Quad Series, defeating South Africa, 68-36, in the first match at TSB Bank Arena tonight.

After narrowly missing selection, Central Pulse shooter Caitlin Thwaites took the court for her international debut in front of her “home crowd” fans.  Thwaites finished with a remarkable 23 goals from 23 attempts in her first outing for Australia.

It was goal-for-goal in the opening quarter until an injury timeout from on-court captain and NSW Swift Mo’onia Gerrard turned the momentum.  The Diamonds turned up the intensity, with GS Caitlin Bassett proving a tall target in the circle, to give her team a 10 goal lead at the first break, 19-9.

South Africa brought on Vanes-Mari du Toit to GK and Thuli Qegu to WD for the second quarter.  The changes made an immediate impact, with du Toit proving up to the challenge to combat the 192cm Bassett, taking three intercepts for the quarter. 

The South Africans were able to stay in touch with the Aussies until halfway through the quarter, until the Diamonds put their foot down to stretch their lead to 15 goals at half time, 33-18.

The Australians made a wrath of changes for the third quarter, most notably bringing Caitlin Thwaites onto GS to make her international debut.  Along with Thwaites, head coach Lisa Alexander brought on NSW Swift Susan Pratley to GA, Rebecca Bulley to GK, and Renae Hallinan to C, while moving Chanel Gomes to GD and Gerrard to WD.

The changes did little to affect the Diamonds’ dominance on the match, with new shooting duo GA Pratley and GS Thwaites shooting 15 goals from 15 attempts between them for the quarter.  With some great defensive pressure from the Aussies they were able to extend their lead to 20 goals at the final break, 48-28.

There was just one change for the final quarter with NSW junior Erin Bell coming back onto the court to WA.  Despite some aerial heroics from South African defensive duo GD Karla Mostert and GK du Toit, the Diamonds had all the run of play and were able to post another 32 goal victory in their fourth outing of the Quad Series.

New Zealand 57 def England 46

The Silver Ferns have come from two goals down at half time to defeat England, 57-46, in the second match of the Quad Series double-header.

It took both the Silver Ferns and England a few minutes to settle into the match, with a few mistakes marring the opening minutes.  The teams traded goals with some terrific aerial defence at both ends of the court to try and create turnovers.  England were able to take the lead halfway through the quarter, and despite some pressure from the Kiwis, maintain a narrow one goal lead at the first break, 13-12.

The second quarter saw the Silver Ferns fight their way back into the match, with defensive duo Katrina Grant at GK and captain Casey Williams at GD working overtime to keep their team in the game ensuring there were no easy passes to the English shooters.  

The two teams exchanged the lead while closing in on half time, however two quick back-to-back goals from GS Harten allowed England to again take a two goal lead at the big break, 26-24.

New Zealand continued their rotation policy, making plenty of positional changes for the second half; Irene van Dyk to GS, Maria Tutaia to GA, Kayla Cullen to WD and Leana de Bruin to GK.  England too made changes bringing on Rachel Shaw to WA, while switching Serena Guthrie to WD and Sara Bayman to C.

The kiwis’ fresh legs gave the team fresh enthusiasm, with shooting duo Tutaia and van Dyk opening up the scoreboard by putting on 17 goals for the quarter while England were kept to just nine.  The one-sided scoring affair resulted in the Silver Ferns holding the lead for the first time to go into the final quarter, 41-35.

For the final quarter Bayman and Guthrie swapped back to WD and C respectively for the English side, with the visitors doing well to pull the goal deficit back to eight goals at one stage.  However captain courageous Williams – in her first full game back – led from the front, with the Silver Ferns claiming a come-from-behind an 11 goal victory, 57-46, in front of their home fans.

Quarter-by-Quarter Scores
AUS Q1: 19 – Q2: 33 (14) – Q3: 48 (15) – Q4: 68 (20)
SA Q1: 9 – Q2: 18 (9) – Q3: 28 (10) – Q4: 36 (8)

NZ Q1: 12 – Q2: 24 (12) – Q3: 41 (17) – Q4: 57 (16)
ENG Q1: 13 – Q2: 26 (13) – Q3: 35 (9) – Q4: 46 (11)

Shooting Statistics
AUS: 68/71 @ 96%
Caitlin Bassett: 24/26 @ 92%
Erin Bell: 9/10 @ 90%
Caitlin Twaites: 23/23 @ 100%
Susan Pratley: 12/12 @ 100%

SA: 36/47 @ 77%
Chrisna Bootha: 31/39 @ 79%
Maryka Holtzhausen: 5/8 @ 63%

NZ: 57/65 @ 88%
Cathrine Latu: 12/14 @ 86%
Jodi Brown: 12/15 @ 80%
Irene van Dyk: 14/14 @ 100%
Maria Tutaia: 19/22 @ 86%

ENG: 46/53 @ 87%
Joanne Harten: 34/39 @ 87%
Pamela Cookey: 12/14 @ 86%

Teams Starting Positions
AUSTRALIA
GS Caitlin Bassett
GA Erin Bell
WA Chelsea Pitman
C Madison Browne
WD Chanel Gomes
GD Mo’onia Gerrard (vc)
GK Bianca Chatfield

SOUTH AFRICA
GS Chrisna Bootha
GA Maryka Holtszhausen
WA Nadia Uys
C Bongiwe Msomi
WD Zanele Mdodana (vc)
GD Karla Mostert
GK Amanda Mynhardt (c)

NEW ZEALAND
GS Cathrine Latu
GA Jodi Brown
WA Camilla Lees
C Laura Langman (vc)
WD Anna Harrison
GD Casey Williams (c)
GK Katrina Grant

ENGLAND
GS Joanne Harten
GA Pamela Cookey (c)
WA Sasha Corbin
C Serena Guthrie
WD Sara Bayman (vc)
GD Ama Agbeze
GK Eboni Beckford-Chambers