The netball rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is one of the most intense between the two nations. We’ve faced New Zealand in numerous finals and both teams have always delivered thrilling matches.
On Thursday, they will meet again in Melbourne for the Constellation Cup, a four-game series that will test their skills and strategies. Who will emerge victorious and claim the trophy?
The bookies usually have their finger on the pulse and I use their numbers to try to predict the outcome based on their odds. They take into account all the factors, such as form, injuries, and home advantage.
Let’s take a deep dive into the live betting markets for the first game of the series and see what they tell us about the chances of each team.
Why I think the Diamonds will get up
Both teams have a long and fierce rivalry in netball, dating back to the first World Cup in 1963. They’ve met a total of 153 times, with Australia winning 94 and New Zealand 56, and three draws. This game on Saturday is set to be another thrilling clash, with both teams vying for the top spot in the Constellation Cup series. Let’s dive into why I think the Diamonds will get up and claim the victory:
- The Diamonds have a very strong and experienced squad, with many players returning from injury or maternity leave. There’s a good mix of spirited youth and seasoned veterans, with speed and strength, attack and defence.
- The Diamonds have a bit of a psychological edge over the Silver Ferns. They’ve won the last two games by very narrow margins. They work well under pressure and can close out the game in the final quarter.
- The Diamonds have a home advantage with a supportive crowd in Melbourne. They will no doubt feed off the energy and enthusiasm of the fans, and use it to lift their performance.
I have a strong gut feeling that the Diamonds have what it takes to win the game. They have shown resilience, determination and skill in their previous encounters, and I expect them to do the same on Saturday.
Why I think the Silver Ferns will get up
On the other side of the argument, it’s worth noting the Silver Ferns have won the last two matches and this includes the 2019 World Cup final. The Silver Ferns are in with a good chance to get up and beat the Diamonds again.
- The Silver Ferns have a more balanced and experienced squad. There’s veterans like Laura Langman, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Jane Watson leading the charge. They’ll be supported by some exciting young talents like Grace Nweke and Kimiora Poi, who’ll add speed and flair to the attack.
- The Diamonds are going through a rebuilding phase. There’s many new faces in the side and a new coach, Stacey Marinkovich. Granted they have lost some key players to retirement or injury, such as Caitlin Bassett, Liz Watson and Courtney Bruce. They’re still finding their best combinations and strategies, which could make them vulnerable to pressure and mistakes.
- The Silver Ferns have beaten the Diamonds them in their last two encounters and have a psychological edge over the Diamonds. There’s strong motivation to prove themselves as the best team in the world and to honour their legendary coach Noeline Taurua, who will step down after this game.
The Silver Ferns are in with a good chance to win the game against the Diamonds. It will be a close and thrilling contest.
What do the bookies say?
Based on the numbers, the Australian Diamonds are the favourites to win the upcoming game. The Diamonds have been in spectacular form lately, winning the Quad Series in England with a 14-goal victory over the Silver Ferns in their first match. The Diamonds also have a new shooting combination of Gretel Bueta and Steph Wood, who have been on fire with their accuracy and creativity.
If we look at the last time the two teams met in Australia, the Diamonds won 55-49 in a close contest. But let’s not underestimate New Zealand. They are the reigning world champions and have beaten Australia in some thrilling finals in the past.
If we go on what the bookmakers are saying, we’ve got:
- Sportsbet: Australia 1.40, New Zealand 2.90
- Ladbrokes: Australia 1.42, New Zealand 2.88
- Bet365: Australia 1.40, New Zealand 3.00
- Neds: Australia 1.40, New Zealand 2.90
- TAB: Australia 1.40, New Zealand 2.90
This game is definitely going to be an exciting match. Both teams have strong players and a long history of rivalry. However, based on the current odds from the bookies, the Australian Diamonds have a slight edge over their opponents. Fingers crossed the Aussies will continue their winning streak and claim the victory in this game.