The Opals have qualified for next year's women's world basketball championships after beating New Zealand 84-66 at the AIS Arena in Canberra.

The trans-Tasman rivals met for the second leg of the Oceania championship on Sunday after Australia won the first encounter by 16 points in Auckland mid-week.

Australia, the world No.2, were hot favourites going into the match with a roster that included four players who won bronze at last year's London Olympics.

They looked comfortable throughout the match, extending their lead in the first three quarters and drawing the fourth.

Superstar Lauren Jackson, who starred in Wednesday's win, took a while to warm up in just her second game back since last year's season-ending hamstring injury.

Jackson made just 38 per cent of her shots in the first half for seven points.

But her true class emerged after the main break, finishing the game with a team-high 21 points and seven rebounds.

Belinda Snell was superb for the Opals, scoring 17 points alongside four assists and two steals.

The Tall Ferns kept in touch throughout the first two quarters, co-captain Toni Edmondson finishing with a game-high 26 points.

Micaela Cocks also produced for the visitors with 25 points and nine rebounds.

Australia, up 39-34 at half-time, shot out in front at the beginning of the third quarter with 13 straight points.

It mirrored Wednesday's early third quarter blitz when they put on 11 unanswered points.

The Opals maintained that dominance for the rest of the match, securing a berth at the world championships in Turkey next September.

 

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