The "smiling assassin" is not grinning, for once.
No, by her standards, Irene van Dyk is positively seething, as she recalls the reaction to her performance in test No 213 of an international career that's nearing the end of its 20th year.
Van Dyk is arguably the greatest player netball has ever seen and certainly remains the standard by which all other goal shoots are judged.
But did it cut her any slack, when she shot 25 from 29 in the Silver Ferns' 47-45 loss to Australia a fortnight ago? Not in her mind.
Van Dyk thinks she's entitled a bit of praise "for being in the game forever" but doesn't believe she got it after that defeat in Auckland and is now highly motivated to ram that down a few throats in Adelaide, come the third test of this Constellation Cup series tomorrow night.
"Awesome" and "amazing" tend to be on the tip of van Dyk's tongue during most interviews, but not at Adelaide's Immanuel College yesterday.
"The thing is [Diamonds goal shoot] Caitlin Bassett missed four goals and she had a blinder, everyone talked her up. I missed four goals and I should be benched and I'm like really? Really?" the 41-year-old van Dyk said.
"It is people's perspective, I suppose. But as soon as I get contained they don't see how well the goal keepers are playing, they see how shocking I'm going.
"They don't give credit where credit's due, really. They really just want to shoot someone down.
"I didn't have my best game ever but, gosh, really? Look at the pressure we were under."
They're fair points that van Dyk makes and give an insight into why she's been so good for so long. She really is a sweet-natured woman, but also a fiercely proud and competitive one, and anyone who thinks she might be going through the motions en route to probable retirement in 2015, can think again.
She wants to win and to dominate every time she takes the court and this series is no exception. Besides which, given the buffeting she takes from opposition defenders, it's not as if she can go into any game with a half-hearted attitude.
"Every time you step on court, you know you're going to be tested and it's so not your comfort zone," she said.
"When we train, that is my comfort zone, that's my little home. But as soon as the game comes and as soon as it's Aussie against the Silver Ferns, you get pushed beyond whatever you thought was comfortable."
That was the case in Auckland, where the ferocity of Australian defenders Laura Geitz and Bianca Chatfield actually surprised van Dyk.
"Man, they were chattering and just talking away the whole time and we got really quiet and were like 'holy moley'. They definitely had the intensity."
She's anxious to see the Silver Ferns play with more conviction in Adelaide tomorrow and be smarter with their gameplan, which she felt the team didn't do in their second test defeat.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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