Live updates: Silver Ferns vs Australia – Constellation Cup

Silver Ferns - 46    Australia - 58

FULLTIME - Fantastic bounce-back win for Australia who were in control throughout. For the full game wrap click here.

1 mins - Katrina Grant with the showtime interception. Folau does the rest.

2 mins - Tippett and Bassett have been a nightmare for the NZ defenders. They combine again for a bucket.

3 mins - They're even at 10-10 in the final quarter.

4 mins - Mini-run for NZ sparked by Folau. Watson with the steal and there's another.

6 mins - Folau strokes a couple but the commentators are already talking about the off-season opportunities for improvement.

8 mins - Relentless Aussie defence making NZ work so hard for every shot. Wilson hits, Bassett swiftly replies. 

10 mins - Wilson earns two in a row for the Ferns but it's all too easy at the other end for Bassett. NZ can't make any headway into this big lead.

11 mins - Aussie hit 50, then fire a bullet from the centre to make it 51.

12 mins - Langman wins the turnover and NZ work the edge of the circle. Quick hands to Crampton, but Selby-Rickett bricks two. She's struggling after having the hot hand early.

13 mins - Selby-Rickett forced to take a deep one, no joy. 

14 mins - Australia continue their clinical approach, quickly extending their lead.

End of third quarter

1 mins - Physical quarter closes, another big one for Australia who have stretched their lead to 13.

2 mins - Turnovers start to rein as the players start to tire. 

4 mins - NZ continue to scrap but the game is starting to get away from them now, they need to make a run soon.

6 mins - Crampton flies to haul in an out-of-bounds ball and fires the pass to Dunn right underneath the hoop. Down she goes.

8 mins - And there goes Langman with the brilliant intercept. Folau hits it with a hand in her face.

9 mins - Patient play by Australia leads to another Bassett bucket. NZ need some defensive stops.

11 mins - Bassett bangs in three in a row and the Diamonds are making it look easy.

13 mins - Looks like Browne is okay. Bassett follows with an elbow to her defender's chops. It's all go.

14 mins - Late challenge on Browne and the Aussie hits the deck hard. Fitzpatrick smashed her, bro.


Second quarter

1 mins - Fitzpatrick doing work defensively, denies the Bassett shot and Selby-Rickett sinks another. Sloppy turnover by Langman and that will do us for the first half.

2 mins - Selby-Rickett pulls down the rebound off the Folau miss and puts it back in. Then strokes another.

3 mins - Bruce pinches another and Tippet makes NZ pay.

5 mins - Langman with a rare NZ steal and Folau converts.

6 mins - Australia starting to pull away now, NZ can't keep pace.

8 mins - Folau with a miss from close range, she's struggling with her shot tonight.

9 mins - Jane Watson, the hero in Hamilton, is pulled from the court early in favour of Sulu Fitzpatrick.

10 mins - Folau with a great save, keeps the ball alive for a much-needed NZ basket.

11 mins - Aussie playing with plenty of space and pace, two more go down.

12 mins - More defensive pressure and more turonvers by NZ. Bassett keeps cashing in, four-straight.

13 mins - Bruce gets all up in her grill next time down court and forces the air ball. 

14 mins - Selby-Rickett with the hot hand, lovely arc on her shot as she sends another one through.

15 mins - Diamonds on the board first.

End of first quarter

Folau sneaks in the buzzer-beater to close the Australian lead to five at the end of the opening quarter.

1 min - Crampton with the baseline rainbow off the sweet feed from Folau.

2 mins - NZ in desperate need of a basket, and Folau obliges.

3 mins - Folau caught for the held ball. Aussie back on attack, they make it five consecutive goals.

4 mins - Bassett misses twice but for some reason gets the ball back, then makes good.

5 mins - Bassett makes it three-straight for the Aussies, Folau kills that streak off.

7 mins - Another baseline shot from way downtown by Selby-Rickett and it's nothing but net. Real tussle here.

8 mins - Grant uses her reach to nab a steal and the Kiwis are off. Selby-Rickett splashes the baseline shot. 

9 mins - Bassett going to work now for the Diamonds.

10 mins - Defensive pressure from the Aussies wins a turnover and they lead for the first time.

11 mins - Langman with a lovely feed into the circle and Selby-Rickett does the rest.

12 mins - Australia get on the board, then quickly level.

13 mins - Selby-Rickett makes it two.

14 mins - Great start for NZ as they get the early bucket and turnover.

7:45pm - 3,200 people on their feet as the final game of the Constellation Cup gets underway.

7:40pm - Player introductions are underway at the TSB Arena. We're not too far away now.

Kia ora and welcome to live updates of the Silver Ferns' clash with the Diamonds in Wellington.

Commentary will start from around 7:45pm. In the meantime check out the video above for a preview of tonight's showdown.

Head to head:

New Zealand  - $3.00      Australia - $1.35


Pre-match banter

Ferns must back-up Hamilton win – Grant

By Brad Lewis

The Silver Ferns must prove they aren't "one-hit wonders" by beating Australia for the second straight test on Thursday in Wellington.

That's the assertion of defender Katrina Grant, after New Zealand ended their nine-game losing streak against the Diamonds with a 55-44 win in game three of the Constellation Cup in Hamilton last Sunday.

That win marked new coach Noeline Taurua's first win over a side ranked higher than the Ferns and just the second in seven games, since taking the reins last month.

Australia comfortably beat New Zealand in the opening two games of the series by 15 and nine goals respectively.

The turnaround in Hamilton provided a nice surprise for fans, but for Grant, it's an indication that their hard work is starting to pay off.

She told Newshub they must back it up in the final game of the series.

"We want to put a good performance out there, we don't want to be one-hit wonders," Grant said.

"We want to play well and we want to end the year on a high.

"We have to win by 15 goals to claim the Constellation Cup, but for us, at the moment, it's about putting a performance out on court, and making sure we don't go away from our gameplan and our processes that we have worked so hard on.

"We have been building and building. We put a good performance together, but I think we will need to put even more in to get Aussie when they are hurting."

The “hurting” Australians were noticeably upset after the third test, with coach Lisa Alexander calling a few of her players out for not stepping up, while also questioning a lopsided penalty count that favoured the Kiwis..

There aren't too many secrets in modern sport and Grant had heard the Australians had a few spicy training sessions in the build-up to the series decider.

The former New Zealand skipper expects a ferocious response from their trans-Tasman rivals on Thursday night.

"We know they are going bounce back pretty darn hard," Grant said.

"We have been hearing a few things that are going on in their camp through a few whispers and we know they are not very happy.

"No-one likes to lose in any way."

Grant has been extremely impressed by what Taurua has brought into a side that was at its lowest point in three decades, after a disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign that resulted in the Ferns coming home without a medal.

While Grant acknowledged they were nowhere near the finished article, she told Newshub that Taurua's ability as a coach was unrivalled.

"She sees something on the court - she can put that in her mind and then the way she articulates that back to you through a drill on how you can combat what is happening is really impressive.

"I don't think there are too many coaches who can do that.

"When you can understand something so well and be given the tools to put that back on court is really good to see.

"She has us training to win. The amount of pressure we are putting on each other to make each other better as individuals is making us a better team.

"I think you have been able to see that, in each and every game we have played, it's coming together.

"The intensity has stepped up and that game fitness is looking a lot better as well. When you start to put all those things together, then wins are going to happen."

Australia will retain the Constellation Cup, if the Ferns fail to win by 15 goals.