Without being disrespectful to the Wellington NPC team, they're hardly Australia. Nor is the ASB Sports Centre a patch on Melbourne's Hisense Arena.
But Wellington will be the opponent and Kilbirnie the place, when discarded Silver Fern Anna Thompson takes to the court tomorrow.
Instead of preparing to play for New Zealand against Australia in their three-test Constellation Cup series, which begins a week tomorrow, Thompson is captaining defending champions Canterbury in the low-profile provincial competition.
Thompson was in the Silver Ferns squad for their most recent Constellation Cup campaign, but found herself dropped after the recent national trials in Auckland.
"I didn't want to go to the trials and not give my all and not make the team, so I'm obviously disappointed," Thompson said.
But she remains in the mix, as part of the four-strong New Zealand squad who are on standby in case of injury.
Once an out-and-out goal attack, Thompson spent the bulk of the Canterbury Tactix's trans-Tasman netball league season at wing attack. It's a spot that's largely up for grabs within the Silver Ferns, but one the 26-year-old is still trying to master.
"I guess I'll be a utility player and be able to play wing attack. I played centre last week for Canterbury and variety is the spice of life," she said.
"Goal attack is the position that I've played a lot of my netball and it's definitely somewhere I don't want to lose touch with. But having the ability to swing between positions is a good skill and something I want to work on."
As for whether she'll again play at centre against Wellington, Thompson isn't telling. All she would say was that they would be sterner opposition than Bay of Plenty were a week ago.
"We realise that Bay of Plenty will possibly be one of the weaker teams in our pool of six and we know Wellington will come out firing. Obviously, they had a narrow [46-44] loss to Auckland and we're expecting them to be tough."
Canterbury beat Bay of Plenty 65-44 in their round one clash - a bit of a novelty for Thompson. Her Tactix team have replaced the Central Pulse as the trans-Tasman league's easybeats, making for a depressing couple of years.
Like everyone else, Thompson is waiting for collective agreements to be settled before she can sign with a franchise for next year. She'd be a good fit for the Pulse, but would only say that she was "a proud Cantabrian".
Wellington's team is unchanged from the one that lost to Auckland-Waitakere.
- © Fairfax NZ News