3 Oct 2014

Fears Silver Ferns losing streak will continue

7:07 am on 3 October 2014

As the Silver Ferns try to regain some respectability in the wake of the Commonwealth Games, a former coach fears their current five test losing streak to Austalia will only continue.

New Zealand play Australia in the first of four tests in the Constellation Cup series in Invercargill on Thursday night hoping to put the 58-40 Commonwealth Games loss to Australia behind them.

But the former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering she fears the lack of shooting depth, that was cruelly exposed in Glasgow, won't be solved anytime soon.

She wants a New Zealand A side to be re-established so the gap between the trans-Tasman competition and the Silver Ferns is narrowed.

With Maria Tutaia missing from the squad for the four test Constellation Cup series against Australia Willering expects the Silver Ferns will again struggle although she believes the scores will be closer.

Former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering has concerns about the lack of depth of international standard players.

Former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering has concerns about the lack of depth of international standard players. Photo: Photosport

"Within our own ANZ competition I worked it out there were six or seven players that were either import shooters or not available for the Silver Ferns so that's got to be a concern.

"At the moment in the ANZ championship players are just moving from one franchise to another and you've got question the development work...so I think we need another team that sits under the Silver Ferns.

"The Silver Ferns squad is getting bigger and bigger and I guess being old school (I think) the Silver Fern needs to be earnt but at the moment they're feeling they have to bring more players into the squad as they have to increase the depth.

"Well I'd like to see less players in that environment and make them really have earnt the right to wear the Silver Fern but certainly have a structure underneath where it will filter into the Silver Fern environment."

The other issue the Silver Ferns have got is that while they have a series against Australia and then England this year they only have a couple of tests next year ahead of the world championships in Sydney.

Willering says that put coach Wai Taumaunu in a difficult position.

"She wants to bring back the belief (for both the side and the public) so I'll think she'll pick her top line up for the first test and then maybe experiment a bit. But without Maria Tutaia and if Cathrine Latu is not 100 percent fit then they're still going to be in strife.

"Bailey Mes has stepped up but it is a totally different combination to what they've had in the past....when we have that reliance on set players it's really questionable and we did that with Irene van Dyk for a long period. We were totally reliant on her. It was just lucky she never got injured."