Forget the Bledisloe, this will be a real battle
Before I start, this article is about netball. I wonder if you’re even going to bother to read this. I never thought I would dedicate my time to writing about this sport either.
But guess what, a trans-tasman rivalry is a battle none the less, and tomorrow night’s second match will be worth tuning into.
For New Zealand, a country where rugby union is a religion, netball is a close second.
A record crowd of almost 9000 is expected at Auckland’s Vector Arena and what could even be more baffling to some, tickets sold out over a month ago, making it the biggest crowd for a netball match in New Zealand.
New Zealand defeated Australia 54-52 in Melbourne on Sunday giving them a one-nil lead in the three-Test series.
You may have witnessed the memorable battles these past few years. That nail-biting, Tourettes Syndrome inducing Commonwealth Games final that went into double overtime 66-64 sudden death win in the last event of the games.
Of course the Diamonds were not going to cop that, and so they got one back the following year in 2011 breaking Kiwi hearts by defeating the Silver Ferns in a heart attack match to claim their deserved title as World Champions.
Sure there may not be an enigmatic Quade Cooper, or a destroying Ma’a Nonu, but this game is hardly soft. ACL’s and dodgy ankles are a common occurrence in the sport.
Not to mention the pushing and shoving, copping elbows in the face and everyday tendonitis.
And all of this for a next to nothing income. Indeed some of these incredible women might be lucky enough to get a car sponsorship out of it, but they earn thousands of dollars less than their male counterparts.
Just for that sake alone you should tune in tomorrow night. At least for the fourth quarter if nothing else, because that my friend is where the highlights reel starts to happen.
I have witnessed so many memorable sporting battles in all codes, but there is something about the back and forth nature of netball that always causes me heart palpitations and sweats.
My heart starts to beat just a little bit faster when I begin to think about the battles I mentioned earlier.
So watch it. Love it. And for goodness sake, support it!
Not yet sold? Watch this epic Australia and New Zealand final here.
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