Glasgow: Australia gained revenge on New Zealand by beating the defending champions 58-40 in a comfortable netball final victory at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.
The Silver Ferns, who had earned a last-gasp 35-34 victory against England in the semi-finals, had an off day in front of goal and that proved costly as their Antipodean rivals took full advantage.
Goal shooter Caitlin Bassett, who had scored 41 points in the semi-final 57-42 win over Jamaica, was easily the standout player for Australia as she scored 49 points with a 92 per cent success rate.
"We`re unbelievably ecstatic," said Diamonds captain Laura Geitz. "We knew the Kiwis would pose a challenge. I know it sounds like a cliche, but we stuck to our gameplan.
"Obviously you need to make the most of your opportunities against New Zealand. They don`t make too many errors.
"I`m very proud of the way the girls conducted themselves today.
"We`ve paid a lot of attention to starting after half-time. It`s nice to have a strong start. We knew never to underestimate the Kiwis."
The match had the makings of a similar classic to 2010, which went to extra-time, with there being little to choose from between the two sides after the first quarter at 14-14.
But Australia took a narrow lead of 28-24 into half-time and never looked back.
They won the third quarter 15-8 to gain the upper hand on their rivals and remained composed in the final quarter to secure gold amid scenes of delight at the end.
New Zealand scored only 40 of their 54 attempts with experienced attacker Jodi Brown and Maria Tutaia both disappointing.
The two nations have contested every single final since netball became a Commonwealth Games sport in 1998 but this was Australia`s first victory since 2002 in Manchester.
Jamaica took the bronze medal after a fine final quarter to beat England 52-48.
First Published: Sunday, August 03, 2014, 22:59