Back in 2008 – Cox was coming off a career best season in the new ANZP however was injured for the first game vs NZ. Injuries wreaked havoc the rest of the shooters and Bevo is called into the squad as a last minute replacement. She’s also given the starting bib in her Diamonds debut. Many assumed the Ferns would take it out, but the Diamonds had other ideas and won the match with Bevo being Player of the Match.
Go forward to 2012 – the Ferns lose their captain Kopua to injury so they sat with the untested backline of de Bruin/Grant/Scarlett. Again, most tipped the Diamonds but the Ferns took out the first game in Melbourne.
This test reminds me of those – nearing the start of new cycles, with untested coaches and key players missing.
While on paper this is a 50/50 test series, I think the Ferns have more to lose and I think Wilson will take a few tests to settle against the Diamonds. Combined with a weakened defense line, Bassett having something to prove and no home crowd support, I expect the Diamonds to win by about 5 goals.