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Defending champions in trouble after Australian defeat

Australia has put together a complete game to confidently beat arch rivals, New Zealand.

From the first centre pass Australia was on song, shooting accurately and looking after possession. Kate Shimmin and Sam Poolman held a strong New Zealand attack to just eight points in their power play to allow Australia a strong win.

After a shaky loss to Jamaica earlier in the day, Australia looked determined to come back strong and handled New Zealand effectively, running out 40-30 winners in the final game of the day.

It was all about the shooters in the first quarter as Gretel Tippett and Ameliaranne Ekenasio traded goals despite the best efforts of some strong defence on both sides. The sides could only be separated by a Tegan Philip buzzer beater to hand Australia an 8-7 advantage at the first break.

Tippett stayed hot in the second quarter and was lethal in tandem with Kaylia Stanton, who combined for a 20 point power play to give the Australians a healthy 14-point buffer heading into the main break. Australia’s defence gave the New Zealand shooters little to work with, but they made good use of their chances, shooting 5/6 for the quarter.

Samantha Poolman and the Australian defence held New Zealand to only eight points in their powerplay, smothering their shooters while Ash Brazill’s work through centre court allowed Tippett and Stanton to keep Australia scoring and holding a 12 point buffer over their arch rivals heading into the fourth quarter.

Kiwi centre Erikana Perderson admitted it was hard for her side to work their way into the game during the powerplay, saying: “It is really really hard. We were just saying that maybe it’s best for us not to know our powerplay because we seem to play better when we don’t know. But that’s something we’ll be looking for to improve tomorrow.”

New Zealand again struggled to break down the Australian defence but found some defence of their own in what was the lowest scoring quarter or the game, with a total of just 14 points.

Australia dominated the court in their third game of the day, with all three shooters on fire and their strongest defensive performance yet, Australia look to have finally found their rhythm in a strong win, that saw New Zealand’s shooters neutralised.

“I think we were saying as a group, our energy was down in that second game and that’s something we really want to fix for tomorrow. We were definitely hungry for the win tonight, there’s nothing better than the rivalry between Australia and New Zealand. They bring their A game every time so we’re going to enjoy it tonight, but refocus. We’ve got a big day tomorrow,” Tippett said of her side’s inconsistencies between games two and three.

AUSTRALIA (40) defeated NEW ZEALAND (30)

Australia shooting statistics

Shooter 1 point goal 2 point goal 3 point supershot
Kaylia Stanton 1/1 5/9 ½
Tegan Philip 0/0 2/4 0/0
Gretel Tippett 6/6 3/5 0/0

 

New Zealand shooting statistics

Shooter 1 point goal 2 point goal 3 point supershot
Ameliaranne Ekenasio 5/5 3/8 0/3
Maia Wilson 1/1 2/3 0/0
Monica Falkner 1/1 0/1 0/1

 

Australia starting five – GS: Kaylia Stanton GA: Gretel Tippett  C: Kate Moloney GD: Maddy Turner  GK: Sam Poolman

New Zealand starting five – GS: Ameliaranne Ekenasio GA: Monica Falkner C: Kayla Cullen GD: Storm Purvis GK: Temalisi Fakahokotau

Australia power play: quarter three
New Zealand power play: quarter second

#Fast5WorldSeries #AUSvNZL