13 Jan 2019

Silver Ferns looking to increase intensity

2:00 pm on 13 January 2019

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has targeted two wins from three matches in her team's upcoming Quad Series in England, but what she really wants to see is some good old-fashioned dominance on the court.

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua Photo: Photosport

New Zealand tackle Commonwealth champions England in Liverpool early on Monday morning (NZT), then go on to meet Australia on 20 January in London, and South Africa a day later.

The team has been rebuilding since their medal-less run at last year's Commonwealth Games under former coach Janine Southby, but to date have managed just two wins - against South Africa and Australia - in seven tests with Taurua at the helm.

With the World Cup just six months away, the Australia-based former Magic coach says it's time for the Silver Ferns to start delivering.

"Getting an outcome is one of the main priorities - two out of three is what we're going for," Taurua said.

"But in another respect, it's about putting our dominance out there, showing some real big presence and looking like we actually know what we're doing."

Key to that will be a strong performance from the New Zealand shooting circle, which performed abysmally in sinking just 60 percent of their shots in last September's 59-32 loss to England.

And given that the Roses have beaten the Silver Ferns in four of their last five matches, Taurua said it's time for her shooters to show they can handle England's physical circle defenders.

"We've got to prepare ourselves for the defence - for our shooters to handle that physicality, turn and put the shot up," she said.

"If we can make a lot of ground in that and get our shooting percentages up, I'll be really happy."

England will be without injured skipper Ama Agbeze, with Serena Guthrie taking over the captain's role.

Taurua is also looking for her defenders - missing the experience of skipper Katrina Rore (nee Grant) - to pile the pressure on England's shooters, led by the mobile and accurate Jo Harten in her return from injury.

"And at the defensive end, I just want to put real big defensive pressure on."

Taurua doesn't anticipate that England will take the Silver Ferns by surprise.

"We should know what to expect from them, we should know what the feel is, we should know what intensity we need to take into that game.

"We've got to be a bit more forceful than we have been in the past."