Devastating Diamonds make it five from five

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The Diamonds overcame a poor third quarter to remain unbeaten after the first three Tests and earn their seven Cup victory. The Silver Ferns have won the trophy just once, in 2012.

The final Test of the series will be held in Sydney on Saturday.

The intense early pressure created turnover opportunities for both sides in a tight first quarter.

The Kiwi attacked end stepped up their defensive pressure from the previous game although at the other end of the court Diamonds shooter Caitlin Bassett’s influence was significant.

Young Silver Ferns defender Kelly Jury struggled to combat the class of Bassett and it was not until late in the second period before she was replaced by Temalisi Fakahokotau at goal keeper.

Australia’s Kate Maloney and Liz Watson celebrate their win over New Zealand in Adelaide on Wednesday night.

Australia’s Kate Maloney and Liz Watson celebrate their win over New Zealand in Adelaide on Wednesday night.Source:News Limited

What was obvious from the outset was the disgraceful umpiring from Singapore’s Joan Abdullah and England’s Jackie Mizon. The superb athletes deserve better than to have a contest impacted on by constant mystery calls.

Players were often puzzled by the calls from the officials, who rarely encounter netball of this pace and physicality.

After the Diamonds gained a two-goal lead at quarter-time, they went on the attack in the second period to blow the game apart.

Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander replaced goal attack Susan Pettitt, who shot just two goals from two attempts, with Stephanie Wood at quarter-time.

The home side’s buffer exploded to 13 goals on the back of sloppy turnovers from the Kiwis, while the Silver Ferns could not escape the wrath of the umpires.

Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby threw her side around searching for answers with personnel changes all over the court.

Australia’s Caitlin Bassett (right) claims the ball under challenge from New Zealand’s Kelly Jury on Wednesday night.

Australia’s Caitlin Bassett (right) claims the ball under challenge from New Zealand’s Kelly Jury on Wednesday night.Source:AAP

Those answers came in the third quarter when the Silver Ferns, who benched vice-captain Maria Tutaia, charged back into the battle with a dominant 15-8 for the period.

The intensity dropped out of the Diamonds’ game and their worries against an opponent growing in confidence were evident with a string of held ball calls.

Samantha Sinclair’s move to centre for the Kiwis aided their cause and they reduced the mistakes to cut the deficit to just four goals at the final change.

Bassett was replaced at goal shooter by Caitlin Thwaites and Kate Maloney was introduced at centre for her Diamonds debut.

The Diamonds responded to all but put the game out of reach of the Silver Ferns with the first seven goals of the final quarter.

AUSTRALIA 55 (Caitlin Bassett 29 Stephanie Wood 14 Caitlin Thwaites 10 Susan Pettitt 2) NEW ZEALAND 43 (Maria Tutaia 16 Bailey Mes 16 Te Paea Selby-Rickit 11) at Titanium Security Arena.

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