By Aimee Dawson
The favourites to take out the Netball World Championship, the Australian Diamonds, have suffered a shock lost to arch-rivals, the New Zealand Silver Ferns.
Australia never looked like winning as New Zealand found their form that has been missing for the past two years.
New Zealand lead at every break to take the win, 52 – 47.
The Diamonds started the match fast, causing a New Zealand turnover in the opening minute, however lost the lead just a minute later and would never regain it.
New Zealand go-to shooter, Maria Tutaia, was shaky early, shooting at only 60 per cent for the first quarter, however found her radar in the second quarter and proved troublesome for the Diamonds to contain.
Tutaia shot 34 goals from 48 attempts in the game, whilst her shooting partner, Bailey Mes, was also impressive, shooting 18 goals at 85.7 per cent.
Vice-captain, Kimberlee Green, was the best for Australia in the first quarter, with 10 goal assists and 24 feeds, however New Zealand held a three goal lead at the first break.
Julie Corletto was injected into the game in goal defence in the second quarter, her first game time since the opening match of the competition.
Despite a temporary comeback in which the Diamonds levelled the score, the Silver Ferns were still ahead by three-goals at the main break.
The margin continued to blow-out in the second half, with the difference growing to eight goals mid-way through the third quarter.
New Zealand defence was on-top, with Australia’s attacking line and midcourt looking rattled under the formidable defensive duo Casey Kopua and Leana de Bruin.
It was do-or-die for Australia going into the final quarter, and they did not back down, scoring quickly to reduce the margin from six goals to just three before New Zealand called a time-out.
The Silver Ferns came out of the time-out the better of the two teams and put the win beyond doubt with a Laura Langman intercept late in the quarter.
Kopua was outstanding for the Silver Ferns in their win, finishing with three gains, two intercepts and five deflections.
The loss ends Australia’s 21 match winning streak and puts their goal of winning a home World Cup in jeopardy.
Australia will have a day break before taking on world number three, England, on Tuesday.
Day 3 Scores
Wales, 71 defeat Zambia, 44
Trinidad and Tobago, 55 defeat Barbados, 39
England, 85 defeat Samoa, 34
Malawi, 75 defeat Singapore, 31
- New Zealand, 3 wins
- Australia, 2 wins
- Trinidad and Tobago, 1 win
- Barbados, 0 wins
- England, 3 wins
- Jamaica, 1 win
- Scotland, 1 win
- Samoa, 0 wins
- Malawi, 3 wins
- South Africa, 1 win
- Singapore, 1 win
- Sri Lanka, 0 wins
- Uganda, 2 wins
- Wales, 2 wins
- Fiji, 0 wins
- Zambia, 0 wins