Australia out for revenge against Silver Ferns

ANGELA HABASHY
Last updated 14:57 18/10/2012

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Australia are confident they've improved as they set out to avenge their netball Test series loss to great rivals New Zealand in Sydney on Sunday.

The Diamonds are fiercely motivated for the clash of Quad Series heavyweights after New Zealand won the Constellation Cup for the first time in the trophy's three-year history last month, triumphing 2-1 to claim their first series success over the world champions in eight years.

"We don't like to lose I can tell you," said Diamonds coach Lisa Alexander.

"There's no better way to get fire in the belly than not accepting that and making sure we address all the issues we needed to address.

"So we're very hungry heading into Sunday."

The Diamonds posted their second consecutive win of the Quad Series in Newcastle on Wednesday night, beating South Africa 63-31 after opening with an empathic 64-40 win over England last Sunday.

Alexander took the chance to give all 12 players valuable game-time, making five substitutes at half-time ahead of Sunday's big match at AllPhones Arena.

She also made sweeping changes against England and felt the tactic to boost the squad's flexibility of combinations had helped.

"The two wins are great confidence boosters," Alexander said.

"We set ourselves some really important targets that we all agreed we needed to achieve after the Constellation Cup and we're achieving those together as a group.

"I think we've got some great teamwork happening in defence, the attacking play is precise.

"So it really gives us enormous confidence for Sunday."

New Zealand have also had a strong start to the series with similarly convincing wins over South Africa (63-27) and England (61-43).

Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu had the luxury of starting captain Casey Williams and legendary shooter Irene van Dyk on the bench, only bringing them on at half-time in both matches.

Alexander felt Sunday's match would be as much a tactical battle as an intensely physical one.

"It's going to be a very interesting game plan because I have no idea what Wai's going to put out out there," she said.

"It's going to be a bit of a chess game definitely and that's exciting from a coaching point of view," she said.

"But we've also got to focus on what we do well and play to our strengths."

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- AAP

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