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Diamonds celebrate season despite loss

  • Diamonds celebrate season despite loss

Australia have ended the 2015 netball season with a loss to New Zealand at Perth Arena, but are still celebrating a year that's included winning the World Cup and retaining the Constellation Cup.

The Diamonds needed to avoid losing by 14 goals or more on Friday night in Perth to retain the Constellation Cup after winning the first two games in New Zealand and losing the third in Melbourne.

The Silver Ferns dominated the contest and led by 14 late in the contest but the Diamonds did just enough to cut that to 11 by the finish.

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That meant the Diamonds won both the World Cup and retained the Constellation Cup to cap off an outstanding 2015, with a break now until January's tour of England.

"We have to reflect on what has been a fantastic two years for us really," Australian coach Lisa Alexander said.

"You are going to lose some games, that's just the way it is, but it's important to point out that we have actually won the World Cup and this Constellation Cup.

"That's what we need to celebrate."

Diamonds captain Laura Geitz was relieved Australia avoided the 14-goal defeat and held on to the Constellation Cup.

"It's been a massive year of netball and we've put far too much work into this past 12 months to let a Constellation Cup slip through our fingers that easily," Geitz said.

"There were a few inspirational plays in that last couple of minutes to peg it back to 11 but we were gripping pretty tightly."

It was the opposite feeling for retiring Silver Ferns coach Waimarama Taumaunu who has been happy with New Zealand's efforts against the Diamonds but walks away without either the World Cup or Constellation Cup.

"We've played six times this year and won three each. That's a reasonable statement that we are two very good teams and this has been a great series," Taumaunu said.

"This isn't as disappointing as August (World Cup final) was, but from my perspective to see the transition to start winning games after Irene (van Dyk) is important.

"For us to do that twice more is pretty satisfying. The best thing any Silver Ferns coach can hope is to leave the place in a better state than they found it and I feel pretty happy that I've made my contribution."

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