10 Sep 2009

Australia level netball series

6:31 am on 10 September 2009

Australia have levelled the trans-Tasman netball series after winning the second test 48-44 in Melbouine last night.

The homeside started strongly and were up by 8 at half time and 12 at three-quarter time, and while the Silver Ferns finished well it wasn't good enough to follow up their first test victory.

Vice-captain and centre Natalie von Bertouch, who was sidelined with a sternum injury for the first Test, gave the Diamonds' midcourt some added authority and also allowed Kimberlee Green to return to wing attack, where she shone.

Irene Van Dyk topped the scoring with 34 goals from 38 attempts at 89 per cent, with New Zealand's other two shooters Maria Tutaia - who left the court with an injured calf - and Paula Griffin only managing 10 between them.

New Zealand coach Ruth Aitken said her team just failed to fire.... she says it was really disappointing ... they knew that the Aussies would come back strongly but they didn't absorb it the way they needed to until the last lot, which was a little bit late.

The third Test will be played in Brisbane on Sunday before two matches in New Zealand.