Diamonds want to win in style
Photo Source: AAP
Australia won't be happy with just bringing home the Constellation Cup - they want to do it with an emphatic final netball Test victory over New Zealand.
With a 2-1 series lead, the Diamonds must suffer an unlikely 23-goal loss in the fourth Test in Invercargill on Thursday night to surrender the prized trans-Tasman trophy.
But goal-keeper Sharni Layton said the Australians wouldn't be happy if they won the trophy for the sixth time in seven years, but not the match.
That happened in last year's series when the Kiwis won a gripping last Test encounter in Perth.
"It was a really empty feeling when you win the Constellation Cup but lose the match," Layton told AAP.
"Coming off a loss it's quite bitter-sweet and you don't really feel like you deserve it to be brutally honest.
"We want to come out and prove that we're the best team and we want a 3-1 (series) scoreline."
The match is the last for retiring Diamonds skipper Clare McMeniman but Layton said that wouldn't be used as motivation - on McMeniman's request.
"Clare is such a team player that she wouldn't want it to be about her and I think she'd get really mad if we did," Layton said.
"We'll be giving everything to win the Cup but she'd be horrified if it wasn't about the whole team."
Silver Ferns veteran midcourter Laura Langman may also be playing her last international after 141 consecutive Tests. By signing to play in the new Australian league with the Sunshine Coast franchise, Langman is unavailable for New Zealand selection.
Experienced New Zealand shooter Maria Tutaia returned from two months on the sidelines with a foot injury to play in the second half in their 12-goal loss in Auckland on Sunday.
Layton said the Australians had done their homework on Tutaia starting, or any of the combinations that could include impressive rookie Te Paea Selby-Rickit and Bailey Mes.
"You have to be prepared for what they may do but at the end of the day that can't take away from what we have to concentrate on ourselves defensively," she said.
"Maria brings so much experience but Selby-Rickit and Mes have been playing well so they've got a really strong line-up no matter who they put out on the court."
CONSTELLATION CUP STATS:
* With the Diamonds leading the series 2-1, New Zealand must win by a margin of 23 goals to be claim the Constellation Cup.
* Australia have won the Constellation Cup five times out of six years, losing only in 2012.
* The Constellation Cup Trophy is made from 3kg of solid sterling silver, to represent the Silver Ferns, and is set with 101 diamonds, to represent the Diamonds.
* Australia and New Zealand are 2-2 in results at Stadium Southland, with the Diamonds winning their most recent clash 59-42 in 2014.