Apart from a one-off exhibition match in Auckland, Netball had never been included at a major sporting event before. (Despite being an IOC-recognised sport since 1995, Netball has sadly never been played at the summer Olympics).
Australia created history in Malaysia, winning the world’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal for netball, beating New Zealand in a nail-biting final under the eye of legendary coach Jill McIntosh. It was the start of a smoldering, cross-Tasman, Commonwealth Games rivalry.
In 2002, Australia defending their Commonwealth Games title, again toppling New Zealand in the final, this time courtesy of a Sharelle McMahon goal in double extra time.
The Silver Ferns got their revenge in 2006, when they flew to Melbourne and won the gold medal on Australian soil. At the time, this meant New Zealand now held both the Commonwealth Games and World Championship titles. The Diamonds had to content themselves with silver.
Australia’s most recent Commonwealth Games victory game in Glasgow, 2014. Again, the Diamonds met the Silver Ferns in the gold medal play-off. This time Caitlin Bassett was the hero, slotting a career-best 49 goals at 92% accuracy to clinch the title.