It would seem as though the Silver Ferns need to do some soul searching after being thrashed by Australia in the Quad Series in South Africa.
It was an ugly game if you lean towards the Silver Ferns, the 67 – 48 outcome just barely offering a glimpse of the dominance of the Aussies and the disarray of the Ferns ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The Diamonds took the court early, taking a 17 – 9 lead in the first quarter and extending to a 13-point lead by the end of the first half, where the score stood at 35 – 22, advantage Diamonds.
The Diamonds are on a roll against the Silver Ferns. They have won five straight and 10 from 12 over the past two years since Janine Southby started polishing the Diamonds.
Between now and the Commonwealth Games, the Silver Ferns will host Jamaica, Malawi and Fiji in Auckland for the Taini Jamison Trophy. That hit-out will be near the end of March.
The big disparity, other than the score in the Diamonds debacle, was that Australia took 25 more shot than the Ferns did.
Nineteen turnovers on the offensive end squandered some fairly solid defense by the Ferns and it is safe to say that for a basketball coach, the only time they like to see the number beside the word turnovers is when they are putting in their pastry order.
To many observers, it seemed as though the Ferns would have preferred to be somewhere else, the dentist, perhaps getting a root canal procedure. In the face of stiff competition, nonchalance is not a good tactic, especially when the other team is considered the favourite to win gold glory at the Commonwealth Games.
The only time the game was close was during the first quarter, when New Zealand managed to knot the score at six after opening by going down four-nil, only to watch helplessly as Australia ran off nine unanswered points.
By the time the third quarter was nearly over, the Diamonds were shining on like crazy, with a 20-point lead that carried them through to the end of the game.