Trans Tasman Report: Test 3.
On day 4, Australia had won the Series 2-0, but the New Zealanders were playing well, and with only a 7-5 loss in the Second Test, had the potential to take the Third and dash Australia’s hopes of running away with the Series 3-0.
As it turned out, the final Test was a long and arduous battle, despite the Aussies starting well. At the end of the doubles, the match score was 2 all (7 needed for a Test win), with 8 singles matches still to be contested, which kept the result in doubt until the very end.
As the final day progressed, Australia took a 6-4 lead, meaning that the Test would be at least a draw, but, with two matches to go, event management chose to dissuade players in one of the them from playing a 3rd game in a best of 3 – an odd decision, as a NZ victory in the one continuing match would have resulted in an AUS lead of 6-5, and an unresolved Third Test. Thankfully, Australian Alison Sharpe won the continuing match, to make it a 7-4 win, and 3-0 Series victory for Australia, a marvellous effort given the high quality of the NZ opposition.
Both the Australian and New Zealand teams faced difficulties both on and off court, but players showed real sportsmanship and unity to overcome all obstacles, and this, regardless of all else, made the Series a genuinely enjoyable one for all of the players.
Overall, Australia won with a match score of 3-0, winning 23 matches to 12, 52 games to 35, and 1658 hoops to 1356. Australian Malcolm Fletcher also took home the Player of the Series trophy, making it a resounding victory over our Trans Tasman friends.
Callum Hyland (Australian Team Manager)