11 Oct 2018

Langman settles for improved performance in milestone match

5:43 am on 11 October 2018

Despite improvement by the Silver Ferns Australia ran away with a 56 to 47 win in game two of the Constellation Cup in Townsville.

Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman

Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman Photo: © Patrick Hamilton / Photosport. All Rights Reserved

Silver Ferns head coach Noeline Taurua's decision to make no changes all match in a bid to secure combinations resulted in a much improved performance, but the visitors couldn't execute on countless opportunities.

In a start the Silver Ferns would much rather forget handling errors saw the Australian Diamonds lead six nil from the first whistle - the Ferns unable to score until the fourth minute of the match.

Attacking momentum hit its stride midway through the first spell after goal attack Te Paea Selby-Rickit settled her ball-handling nerves fighting back 12 to 11 to Australia after the first fifteen minutes.

An unchanged Silver Ferns line-up had a better start to the second quarter but where attack found momentum, defence started to falter with the Diamonds speed and precision on the pass finding an easy home at the post.

Maria Folau in goal shoot doing all she could to command play from the baseline gave the lift her side needed with percentages lifting from the first quarter to 93 percent - the game entering halftime 29 to 24 to Australia.

While it's not the ideal half from New Zealand it's an improvement from the 16 goals they scored at half-time in game one only three days earlier.

The Diamonds injected shooter Gretel Tippett and wing defender Gabi Simpson into the match while Taurua showed confidence in her side making no changes at all.

With physicality starting to rear its head in the match the Silver Ferns made in roads to bring the score within a single goal but were unable to capitalise, the Diamonds attacking again to extend the lead.

The Ferns win the fight of the quarter 13 to 12 but the Diamonds continue to lead the war of the game 41 to 37 at the end of the third quarter.

The final period sees no change to either side, the Silver Ferns for the third time in this match bringing the score to within a single goal, and once again, only prompts Australia to blow the score line out to a game high seven goals.

The overall improved performance was enough to give Silver Ferns captain Laura Langman a smile while celebrating the milestone of becoming New Zealand's most capped player of all time after playing 146 matches.

"I live for the moment and every game is like my first game and there is no prouder moment than pulling on the black dress," says Langman

"I came into the sport in a wicked era and I couldn't have asked for better mentors."

"I just love the friendships that get built it's a real special moment and every game feels like number one."

Two more matches remain in the Constellation Cup series with game three set for Hamilton's Claudelands Arena on Sunday afternoon.