Losing back-to-back games against the Silver Ferns for the first time in four years didn't sit well with the Australian Diamonds.

But worse so for Australian media and fans, who have expressed anger over the "disgraceful" umpiring.

A number of calls made in favour of New Zealand in the final quarter of the Constellation Cup clash sparked an uproar on social media, with many fans claiming a controversial non-offside call on Ameliaranne Ekenasio in particular, the turning point of the Ferns' success.

Ekenasio tipped a pass between Australia centre Liz Watson and Jo Weston in the eighth minute of the final quarter before losing her balance and tossing the ball back while stepping into the Diamonds' goal third and then out of court.

Ameliaranne Ekenasio got away with a controversial non-call to put the Ferns in front. Photo / Photosport
Ameliaranne Ekenasio got away with a controversial non-call to put the Ferns in front. Photo / Photosport

The rogue ball was picked up by Jane Watson as Ekenasio walked casually along the court line assuming an off side penalty would be called.

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But when Watson's following pass to Laura Langman saw play continue, Ekenasio scrambled down court to receive the ball again in the shooting circle and score to put the Ferns ahead by one goal.

A clip of the play shared by 9Netball on Twitter, labelled as a "HUGE" moment for the Silver Ferns, quickly gathered angry comments from fans.

"Do you even understand why this was a huge moment?? It was a howler from the umpire. You make it sound like it was a great tip.." one user wrote.

"What a howler! Umpire should've been anticipating that the GA would go offside, especially as she was going for the ball. What was the ump looking at?!" commented another.

While fans on twitter ripped into the decision, Netball website Netball Scoop weighed in their opinion, calling it a case of "poor umpiring".

"Let's be fair, this was a very poor umpiring decision, and it's a real shame that these sorts of things happen in such close games, when a turnover usually costs a team 2 goals, not just 1. And it did on this occasion."


It wasn't the only decision by the umpires deemed as controversial either, with fans pointing out another perceived missed call on Karin Burger after she ripped the ball away.

Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman. Photo / Photosport
Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman. Photo / Photosport

Langman's apparent hold on the ball multiple times during the match was also criticised.

"Look, it's a bit off-brand for me to criticise LLL, but does she has [sic] special dispensation to get an extra second every time she has the ball in her hand?" one netball fan wrote.

Even Langman herself expressed surprise over how many calls appeared to go the way of the Ferns.

"I think sometimes the bounce of the ball definitely goes your way, we probably had a couple," Langman said while speaking to media courtside after the game.

"That's the type of stuff that you don't ever want to have to rely on so we'll definitely be looking at that."

New Zealand finished with 40 penalties in total while the Diamonds racked a hefty 62.

The two sides travel to Auckland today in preparation of the second Constellation Cup test to be played on Wednesday at Spark Arena.