Australia’s eight-goal Constellation Cup netball victory over New Zealand in Christchurch has left skipper Caitlin Bassett wondering whether it’s time to chance her arm in another position.
The Diamonds goal shooter was in outstanding form on Sunday as Australia wrapped up a clinical 60-52 win over the Silver Ferns, their second victory in three days against the Kiwis.
Bassett shot 40 goals from 44 attempts at 91 per cent accuracy as the Diamonds all but wrapped up their trophy defence after edging New Zealand 57-54 in Thursday’s first Test in Auckland.
But it was her fourth-quarter intercept – a relative rarity for a goal shooter – which left coach Lisa Alexander impressed and Bassett contemplating the wisdom of launching a mid-career position switch.
“Watch out, goalkeepers, I’m coming,” she warned.
The 1.93m tall shooter has played for Australia in the defensive circle previously, although Alexander is willing only to admit that she’d done “a reasonable job”.
Bassett’s value to the Diamonds as a shooter has always been obvious, and now she’s making her mark as captain, Alexander said.
“C-Bass leads from the front – it’s something we’ve talked about for a while, exploiting her height, and for her to get an intercept was wonderful.
“It was great to see that desire, and when your leaders are doing those little things that really count, then everyone lifts a little higher because of it.”
Bassett, 29, made her Australian debut in 2008 and on Sunday broke through the 2000-goal mark for the Diamonds, sinking 2038 of 2268 attempts at 90 per cent accuracy.
She said the most pleasing part of Sunday’s win had been seeing the way the team had grown over the last month since New Zealand’s 57-47 Quad Series upset in Invercargill.
It’s an improvement she expects to continue for the final two Constellation Cup matches in Adelaide and Sydney next week.
“For the whole team, from Invercargill till now, I think it’s just that development every time we step back out on court, growing those connections,” she said.
“We saw them tighter again today, and I’m really excited about what it’s going to be like in Adelaide.”