21 Jan 2019

Silver Ferns' World Cup puzzle becoming clearer

5:33 pm on 21 January 2019

The Silver Ferns' Netball World Cup squad is beginning to take shape, following the Quad Series in England.

Silver Ferns huddle during the Quad Series

Photo: © Actionplus 2018

New Zealand registered just one win from its three tests, a thrilling 62-60 extra-time victory over South Africa, following contrasting defeats to England and Australia.

But Ferns coach Noeline Taurua says there has been improvement and progression from her team during the series.

"I've got the shooting end pretty much sussed, so I know what that is, and probably over the last couple of days I've been able to cement a starting seven and that's something I haven't been able to do in previous series," Taurua said.

Maria Folau and Ameliaranne Ekenasio started all three tests in the shooting circle and they were "one of the pleasing things".

"In the past I suppose our percentages haven't been high and also our attempts.

"The combination...has slowly built as the series has come on and I'm really happy with the work that they've done behind the scenes.

"I think I've found one of the combinations and I'm really happy so another two pieces to go."

Taurua has looked at around 25 players since taking over last year and now believes she's found the core of her 12-strong squad for the World Cup in Liverpool in July.

"I feel that I've got at least a good six there and another six are open.

"Obviously they have to demonstrate that when they go back to their clubs, but it's become clearer."

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua during the Quad Series between New Zealand and Australia

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua during the Quad Series between New Zealand and Australia Photo: Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

Noeline Taurua expects the toughest calls to come in the mid-court, where captain Laura Langman is the only player to have cemented a spot.

"Overall I'm wrapped with the mid-court. I think we've got great options and now they have to fight out to see who stands up and get selected.

"When they go back into the ANZ Premiership it's about them backing up, plus also meeting what their requirements are per position."

While predominantly positive,Taurua acknowledges they "still have got a lot of work to do".

"I don't believe we're at the standard of both England and Australia yet.

"Our ability to start the game well and also sustain that intensity is an area that we need to improve on."

Noeline Taurua will have to wait until late June before she gets her players back in camp, as they are now returning to their New Zealand and Australian franchises.

"We have two weeks prior to the world cup so we're just working through the planning.

"There's a Taini Jamison camp that's happening and also hopefully we'll look at what we can do with working with the players during ANZ, without overloading them, but also looking at camps as well.

"We'll just have to work with the clubs as to what's best."