I should be working, I've set my screen up so that I can work and watch the Netball test... sod it, I want to have a go at live blogging.
Anthems: How come Netball crowds can belt out both the Maori and English versions of the anthem and rugby crowds are so muted throughout the Maori - are women more likely to be bilingual?
Lineups: No surprises that Liz Ellis is playing on Van Dyk. Both are classy players. Von Bertoch sisters both starting for Australia. Vilimaina Davu is such an imposing character.
Halfway through first quarter: Tutaia is the main target in the NZ shooting circle, shooting 5 from 8 but Van Dyk remains the main defensive target. NZ 100 percent success shooting.
First quarter finished: The difference between the two teams is the conversion rate of shots to goals. The defence on Sharelle McMahon is excellent and the pressure on the shooters is forcing errors. NZ up by two goals.
Halftime: Even, twenty a piece. Scarlett and Davu not doing as well containing the Australian shooters in the second quarter. A typically close match. A wonderfully physical encounter but also well refereed. Avellino commenting for ABC - she used to annoy the hell out of me, always complaining to the umpires but just as aggresive as anyone on court. I don't mind it when competitors push the limits, it is the umpires job to manage, but I don't like players who simultaneously complain and offend. I've hardly ever seen Davu say anything during the game, she accepts that she'll get penalised. Of all the players in all sports, Ricky Ponting must be the worst at this. A brilliant batsman, but an average sportsperson.
3rd Quarter: Dalton on for Tutaia - Dalton who's back in the squad after a year or two away - Dalton who's only a year younger than me and 16 years older than Tutaia. Australia with a break of two goals, 26 plays 24.
NZ timeout in the 3rd Quarter: Australia ahead by 5, shooting much more accurate and midcourt patient. NZ using the zone defence but Australia not panicing.
Late in 3rd Quarter. Davu pulls off critical turnover and NZ not out of things with a centre pass to come.
End of 3rd Quarter. NZ trails 33 - 35. Australia has won the last two quarters but NZ staying with them. Davu's played well but Australia's speed across the top of the circle is the difference. So much for my prediction of a win to NZ by 5, this one will go down to the final seconds and will probably be won by a margin of one or two. Defence on Van Dyk is excellent but isn't creating space for Dalton where it was for Tutaia.
Five to go: Dalton's missed two critical shots, Australia has momentum and the scoring advantage. If they win, it's the first series win in in NZ a number of years...
Fulltime: NZ lose by 6. Ruth Aiken's job is at least safe from me. Australia deserved the win. Third in four games. World Championship's will be tight.
6 days ago