13 Oct 2013

Silver Ferns lose a thriller in Canberra

7:31 pm on 13 October 2013

The Australian netballers have narrowly beaten New Zealand 50-49 in the dead rubber fifth test in Canberra.

The Silver Ferns led 26-23 at half-time and were level pegging until the final minute. Shooter Caitlin Bassett came off the bench to clinch the win after New Zealand led in the final minutes.

But the Ferns couldn't hold off the home team's late surge and Bassett got them level then nailed the clincher.

Australian coach Lisa Alexander put her No.1 shooter Bassett - who had two 40-goal plus hauls in the series - on the bench to give fellow markswoman Caitlin Thwaites her debut and Thwaites responded with 11 goals from 13 attempts.

But New Zealand overcame a first-quarter deficit as their indefatigable goal attack Maria Tutaia (24 from 33) and shooter Catherine Latu (25 from 27) edged them ahead.

Alexander responded by introducing the taller Bassett (20 from 25 attempts) as Australia clawed back to 38-38 at three-quarter-time.

The Diamonds claim the Constellation Cup 4-1.

The test was the last time the two sides play each other before next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.