More trans-Tasman contests to be explored for Bendigo

Australia and New Zealand playing a netball international in Melbourne last year. Picture: AAP IMAGE

Australia and New Zealand playing a netball international in Melbourne last year. Picture: AAP IMAGE

BENDIGO has been treated to one of sport’s great rivalries in its own backyard in recent weeks – Australia v New Zealand.

First it was on the Rugby 7s field at Epsom-Huntly Reserve when Australia’s Pearls took on New Zealand in a five-match women’s series won 4-1 by the Black Ferns.

Now it’s on the hockey pitch in Bendigo where the latest trans-Tasman battle is being staged between the fierce sporting foes.

Australia’s men’s team, the Kookaburras, are taking on New Zealand in a two-game series that began on Sunday afternoon as part of the International Festival of Hockey.

The Kookaburras and Black Sticks will also lock horns again on Monday afternoon from 4pm.

And Bendigo is also fortunate to have Australia’s women’s team, the Hockeyroos, in town as well to play the USA on Monday from 6pm in another international sporting fillip for the city.

Fiven Bendigo has played host to two international sporting contests between Australia and New Zealand in just a matter of weeks, it leads to the question of what other trans-Tasman contests could the city also attract?

What a massive coup for the city if it could build on its recent Aussie-Kiwi events by putting its hat in the ring to attract an international netball game between the two countries when the next opportunity arises.

Australia-New Zealand (pictured) is the No.1 netball rivalry in the world and it’s events of this calibre you’d hope the Bendigo Stadium, once its $22 million, 4000 seat, showcourt development is completed next year, could come into consideration for.

The Bendigo Stadium has previously hosted one international netball match in 2014 when Australia’s Diamonds beat England 55-37 on a Sunday afternoon in October.

But Australia v New Zealand would certainly be taking it to the next level.