Inconsistency still plagues Silver Ferns

6:40 pm on 6 April 2018

The Silver Ferns recovered from a disastrous second quarter to beat Wales 70-44 at the Commonwealth Games netball competition.

New Zealand Silver Ferns mid-courter Grace Kara

New Zealand Silver Ferns mid-courter Grace Kara Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018

After leading 23-14 after the first spell, the 10th ranked team in the world then took the second quarter 13-9.

Coach Janine Southby made wholesale changes at half-time with the Ferns leading by just five goals.

The shooting combination of Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekenasio was replaced by Bailey Mes and Te Paea Selby-Rickit.

At the other end defenders Temalisi Fakahokotau and Katrina Grant were replaced by Michaela Sokolich-Beatson and Kelly Jury, with the pair immediately making some gains.

The Silver Ferns then went on a 21-9 scoring spree in the third quarter.

Southby said the suite of changes she made were pre-planned.

"Every player's got to contribute over these early days to make sure that we get through and we're really pleased with three quarters of that game, one quarter wasn't great. It's not the end of the tournament yet so we've still got stuff to learn and keep growing and that's what we've challenged ourselves to do."

Selby-Rickit was the best of the shooters by far, finishing with 28 from 31 attempts.

But Southby admits she's still waiting for one of her shooters to put their hand up and be the consistent shooter they need for every game.

"All of them have that ability to do that and we're looking forward for that to happen but I have confidence that they will do it."

Last year when the Ferns meet Wales in two tests they beat them by 33 and a massive 65 goals, perhaps a sign of how things have unravelled for the Ferns.

Given their recent woes, do teams like England and Jamaica have good reason to see New Zealand as vulnerable?

"I think any team on any day is up for the taking and what they're thinking I don't know because I'm fully focussed on what we need to be focussing on."

They next meet Malawi in two days' time.