The Australian Diamonds and New Zealand Silver Ferns will contest the final Constellation Cup match of the season when they take the court at Auckland’s Trusts Arena tonight at 5:30pm AEST.
While the Diamonds have already sewn up the series with their nine-goal victory at Allphones Arena over the weekend, in turn taking an unassailable 3-0 lead, Aussie defender and 2015 NSW Swifts recruit Julie Corletto says the team won’t be taking it easy any time soon.
“It’s great to obviously have those first three wins, but we just want to improve on each game and get better. We had a bit of analysis this morning and we are looking to improve on our performance from Sydney,” Corletto told media yesterday.
Both teams head into the final Test having made one personnel change in their respective rosters. For the Diamonds it is the planned changeover of defenders, with Rebecca Bulley making way for Clare McMeniman who takes her place in the side for the remaining three matches against the Silver Ferns and England.
However for the Kiwis it was a severe knee injury to their Captain Casey Kopua which has seen young defender Kayla Cullen elevated into the team, following her recovery from an ACL injury in August last year.
Kopua went down early in the fourth quarter of the Allphones Arena Test, with Netball New Zealand confirming the 29-year-old dislocated her knee cap and tore the Patella Tendon, requiring surgery and up to six months on the sidelines.
With the Silver Ferns defensive re-shuffle, it leaves a path for 20-year-old Temalisi Fakahokotau to make her international debut in front of her home town fans.
A former teammate of the Northern Mystics defender, Corletto admits she and the Diamonds expect Fakahokotau to make a dream debut in front of family and friends at Trusts Arena.
“I know from playing with her she brings a lot of energy to the team; she’s not afraid to have a go at the ball. So I certainly think she will be out there at Trusts Arena which she is used to playing in tomorrow night,” Corletto said.
For Corletto returning to Trusts Arena is “a little like returning home”, after the 28-year-old played two seasons with the Northern Mystics. While she has fond memories of her time in Auckland, she hopes she still has a few supporters in the crowd while she is wearing enemy colours.
“It will be a little strange… it will be good to see all the Mystics fans [because] obviously it was only a couple months ago I was playing in front of them all, so it’s good to be back here. Obviously though I’m wearing the Green & Gold so hopefully I’ll have a few supporters in the crowd!”
Watch the full interview with Julie Corletto below, courtesy of Netball Australia:
The match will be shown LIVE on both Free-to-Air and Pay TV; SBS 2 and Fox Sports 2 (Ch502) will commence their broadcasts at 5:30pm AEST.
|2014 International Netball Series|
|Thu 2 Oct||Aust Diamonds 59 d NZ Silver Ferns 42|
|Wed 8 Oct||Aust Diamonds 49 d NZ Silver Ferns 40|
|Sat 11 Oct||Aust Diamonds 47 d NZ Silver Ferns 34|
|Wed 15 Oct
|NZ Silver Ferns v Aust Diamonds
The Trusts Arena, Auckland NZ
Broadcast from 5:30pm Fox Sports & SBS 2
|Sun 19 Oct
|Aust Diamonds v England
Bendigo Stadium, Bendigo VIC
Broadcast from 1:30pm Fox Sports & SBS 2
|Wed 22 Oct
|Aust Diamonds v England
AIS Arena, Canberra ACT
Broadcast from 7pm Fox Sports & SBS 2
*times all AEST