Caitlin Thwaites ends international netball career with a victory over Kiwis

Caitlin Thwaites with the Constellation Cup after her final match for the Diamonds. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

Caitlin Thwaites with the Constellation Cup after her final match for the Diamonds. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

Caitlin Thwaites' glittering career with the Diamonds finished with another trophy on Sunday.

The Bendigo netball product helped the Diamonds to a seventh-straight Constellation Cup victory over New Zealand in her 55th and final Test match.

Caitlin Thwaites in action during the third quarter on Sunday. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

Caitlin Thwaites in action during the third quarter on Sunday. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

Thwaites played the third quarter of Sunday's 53-46 win in Perth and was her usual efficient self, scoring six goals from seven attempts.

The 32-year-old was given a resounding reception by a record Perth crowd of 13,233 fans as she said goodbye to an international career that included World Cup and Commonwealth Games gold medals.

"It's been a bit of a build-up this week and I'm very grateful to have done this once let alone 55 times,'' Thwaites said after the game.

"This team has been a really special part of my life. I hope I've had a bit of an influence on the team as well as how much its had on me.

"I'm very happy and excited to celebrate and I'm also really excited to see what happens in the future with this group because we have a really young team."

Caitlin Thwaites waves to the crowd at her final match for the Diamonds. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

Caitlin Thwaites waves to the crowd at her final match for the Diamonds. Picture: PATRICK THWAITES

After announcing her retirement late last week, Thwaites said she tried to keep her "blinkers on" in the lead up to the game so that she didn't lose focus.

"I've had a few emotional, teary moments over the last few days, but that's just generally me because I cry at the drop of a hat anyway,'' she said.

"In the next couple of weeks I'll have some time to reflect.

"It's been so nice and overwhelming to see how much support I've received."

The Diamonds blitzed the Silver Ferns with a 16-7 opening-quarter onslaught at RAC Arena on Sunday, and led by as much as 16 goals during the second term as their suffocating pressure proved too much to handle.

But with star shooter Maria Folau nailing almost everything that came her way, the Silver Ferns reduced the margin to seven goals in the third quarter, and then just four goals with seven minutes remaining.

Caitlin Thwaites stretches for the ball.

Caitlin Thwaites stretches for the ball.

The Diamonds kept their cool at the death to secure the win and level the series at 2-2, claiming the Constellation Cup on superior goal percentage.

The victory was sweet revenge for Australia, who lost the World Cup final to New Zealand by a goal in July, and also twice lost to the Silver Ferns during the current series by a goal.

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