Thwaites fires in final quarter for victorious Diamonds

STRONG FINISH: Bendigo's Caitlin Thwaites was instrumental in the Diamonds' brilliant last quarter against the Silver Ferns in Sydney. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES
STRONG FINISH: Bendigo's Caitlin Thwaites was instrumental in the Diamonds' brilliant last quarter against the Silver Ferns in Sydney. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

A STRONG final quarter from Bendigo’s Caitlin Thwaites has helped Australia to an unassailable lead in the Constellation Cup series against New Zealand.

The Diamonds lead the four-game series 3-0 following a 55-43 victory in Adelaide on Wednesday night.

After their 12-goal half time lead was whittled down to just four at the final change, Diamonds coach replaced captain Caitlin Bassett with Thwaites at goal shooter and gave Kate Moloney a debut at centre in place of Kim Ravaillion.

The changes worked as the Diamonds steadied to score a 12-goal win.

Diamonds wing attack and Melbourne Vixen Liz Watson praised coach Lisa Alexander’s last quarter moves.

"When those girls came on they knew exactly what their role was," Watson told AAP.

Caitlin Thwaites. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

Caitlin Thwaites. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

"You could see them step out there and put out what we know works for us and what we've been training."

The Diamonds will chase a series clean-sweep in Sydney on Sunday.

It was the seventh time in the eight years of the competition they have held the trophy, but only in 2014 were they able to clean sweep the Silver Ferns.

"We may have won the Constellation Cup now, but we want to finish four-zip and that's what we're going to aim to do," Watson said.

Alexander backed the Diamonds to complete the series sweep but said her team needed to lift their game following a disappointing third quarter in Sydney.

"We want more," Alexander said.

"This group really wants to perform at its absolute best in Sydney over four quarters.”