Constellation Cup 2021: Australian Diamonds draw level with second test win over Silver Ferns

Australian Diamonds have hammered the Silver Ferns by nine goals, to draw level in their four-match Constellation Cup series.

Australia turned a dominant 15-6 first quarter into a 45-36 win in the second test at Christchurch.

Missing skipper Amerliarannne Ekenasio, New Zealand struggled for rhythm in the first half, frustrated by a hustling Australian defence, which made the most of 14 first-half turnovers to lead by 14 goals at halftime.

The Diamonds young shooting attack of Cara Koenen and Kiera Austen provided speed and skill in the attacking circle, with Koenen super impressive in her first start for her country.

The 23-year-old was excellent under the net, landing 29 from 34 points in a near-flawless display.

After a halftime spray from coach Dame Noeline Taurua, the Ferns looked the better side in the second half, but weren't able to consistently eat into the Australian lead. The homeside won the third quarter by four goals and the final frame by one, but the damage had been done in the first two.

Maia Wilson was excellent again for New Zealand, but had to take on the vast majority of the shooting for the Ferns, scoring 32 from 38.

She and her side will be hoping their skipper recovers for a minor calf strain to take her place on the court on Saturday, again in Christchurch.

Join us at 4:15pm Saturday for live updates of the third NZ v Australia Constellation Cup clash