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Cautions queried in Constellation Cup

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/10/2016 Cathy Walshe

Head Coach Janine Southby of New Zealand looks on during a Silver Ferns game. © Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images Head Coach Janine Southby of New Zealand looks on during a Silver Ferns game. Netball's increasing physicality again came under the spotlight as Australia battled to a 49-45 win over New Zealand in Thursday's final Constellation Cup Test in Invercargill.

The Diamonds had already wrapped the four-match series after posting 12-goal wins in the first and third Tests.

But they still attacked the final match like the series depended on it, an approach mirrored by the Silver Ferns as they looked to rediscover the intensity that won them the second Test 53-51 win in Launceston last week.

The result was a ferocious encounter, with umpires Jackie Mizon of England and Theresa Prince (South Africa) delivering a series of official cautions to players from both teams.

There was no follow-up, however, leaving New Zealand coach Janine Southby slightly bemused at the lack of action.

"We don't want to see players sent off," she said afterwards.

"But the systems are in place to keep stuff skilful, and some of the stuff that isn't getting picked up is the stuff that's more concerning.

"They've got a job to do, and at times you were certainly left wondering why it (the whistle) wasn't blown."

Southby wasn't about to use umpiring as an excuse for the loss, however.

"We know that every time we come up against them we have to be really tough," she said.

"At times we were a little bit hesitant, and when hesitancy creeps into your game, that's when you start doubting, and we can't have any doubt when we go out there."

Australian coach Lisa Alexander had few complaints, particularly given that her team ended up with fewer penalties than usual.

"The ones we did do drew attention, and that's what we've got to get right," she said.

"We're not aiming to break the rules, and I expect players to be disciplined in getting on with the next issue.

"I thought the umpires in general controlled the game very well."

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