Stacey Marinkovich was blunt after the Diamonds lost the Constellation Cup for the first time in nine years.

Australia have coughed up the Constellation Cup for the first time in nine years, falling to an agonising 45-43 defeat to New Zealand in Christchurch.

After heading into the match trailing 2-1 in the four-Test series, the Diamonds had to win by two goals or more to keep their hands on the trophy.

MORE NETBALL NEWS: Liz Ellis roasts Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich over decision to employ leadership rotation policy

But a Kiwi surge over the third and fourth quarters saw the Silver Ferns snatch the trophy from their trans-Tasman rivals for the first time since 2012.

MORE NETBALL NEWS: Diamonds crash to ‘alarming’ Constellation Cup defeat after Silver Ferns comeback

Diamonds coach Stacey Marinkovich said her team had plenty of positives to build on.

https://twitter.com/9Netball/status/1368407280614596612?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

“For us to be able to come together and play at that intensity, and be able to execute it, shows we’re going in the right direction,” Marinkovich said.

“When you represent Australia, there is an expectation to win and we’ve got to build that. We learnt an incredible amount and we’re going to come back bigger and better for it.”

Marinkovich’s decision to employ a “squad leadership approach” for the Constellation Cup, in which the Diamonds would have a new skipper for every match, was slammed by Australian netball greats Liz Ellis and Catherine Cox.

However, Marinkovich appeared to unearth a permanent skipper during the series as Liz Watson captained every one of the last three Tests, after Caitlin Bassett led the way in the first match.

https://twitter.com/9Netball/status/1368388535775096834?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Watson commended the Silver Ferns on the side they had become.

“Just these guys and how tough they are,” Watson said.

“They are a quality team and every time we play them it’s a respectful and tough match.

“We’ll look at that and hopefully at the end of the year we’ll come to Australia and have another battle.

“There’s a lot to learn but we’re really excited to get home, get into our (Super Netball) season and hopefully meet you guys again at the end of the year.”

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