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Diamonds thump Silver Ferns in NZ netball

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/10/2016 Angelo Risso

An imperious Caitlin Bassett performance in the shooting circle has led the Diamonds to a 62-50 trouncing of the Silver Ferns in their Constellation Cup netball clash in Auckland.

Bassett, 28, nailed 56 from 65 attempts on goal as a tight opening quarter gave way to Australian dominance in all thirds of the court.

Surprised 53-51 at home by the Kiwis in Launceston, coach Lisa Alexander opted to pair the 193cm Bassett with the similarly tall Gretel Tippett in attack to loft balls into Bassett's path.

The move paid dividends, with the Perth-based Bassett breaking her shooting record for most goals in a game.

The Diamonds will look to wrap up the series in Invercargill on Thursday after taking a 2-1 lead and holding a strong points differential.

There was little to separate the world's best two netball sides in the first quarter, with both outfits looking sharp in the shooting circle.

Silver Ferns shooter Bailey Mes nailed a perfect seven from seven, while Bassett notched 11 from 15 under veteran Anna Harrison's tight defensive pressure.

The quarter closed at 13 goals apiece, with New Zealand looking lively after sluggish first-quarter performances in Sydney and Launceston.

However, the improved first-quarter showing was to prove a false dawn for the Silver Ferns as Australia came into their own.

Bassett landed 13 from 14 as New Zealand's rear-guard struggled to nullify her height and reach advantage, while Kiwi goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit hit eight from eight.

But, it was the Diamonds who began to push ahead, earning a 29-25 halftime lead.

Star attack Maria Tutaia was injected at the break for the Silver Ferns but could only watch on as Australia's midcourt laid on goal after goal for Bassett.

The Diamonds stretched their lead to 10 with four minutes of the quarter remaining, before going into the final stanza 46-38 ahead.

The match took on a similar complexion in the final period, as the Silver Ferns struggled to peg back their rivals despite the influence of Tutaia, who netted 11 from 15 in her time on court.

Bassett hit all 16 of her side's final-quarter goals to seal the match at 62-50.

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